Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Behind the Books: A Place for Birds, Take 2

When A Place for Birds came out in 2009, I was thrilled. Reviews were great. Sales were strong.

But as the years passed, things changed for many of the birds in the book. Some populations rebounded, while others faced additional losses.

My editor knew that I continued to collect materials related to the book after it was published. (It's hard to let go of a topic I care about.) And she told her publisher. They realized it would be relatively easy to revise the book and decided to do it.

While I updated the text on every spread, the biggest change involved adding a brand new example. In recent years, scientists have realized that millions of birds die each year when they accidentally fly into windows. My editor agreed that we should add this to the book and commissioned a new piece of art.

Because the publisher had received feedback from sales reps that the original cover was too location specific (The background is obviously the Chicago cityscape.), they also decided to change the book's cover. I really like the new one, and I hope it draws a new audience to the book.

I’ve also updated the educational materials that go with the book, so the new Teachers Guide is aligned to both The Common Core standards and the Next Generation Science Standards. Teachers can also download related activities to do with their students. So in the end, everyone wins.

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