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Saturday, December 5, 2015

A Book For All Seasons (Leavenworth, WA)

A Book For All Seasons - Leavenworth, WA
A big thank you to Theresa at A Book For All Seasons, in Leavenworth, WA for hosting me today for a book signing. I've lived here for going on nine years now and have really only been to Leavenworth for athletic contests, though we did make it out to Oktoberfest last year for the first time.

So this was my first experience with a Christmas weekend and wow - it was jaw-dropping. I was worried I would be there too early and would have to find something to do for 45 minutes or so, but about 2 miles outside of town (not on the Seattle side, mind you) traffic just stopped. We inched along the whole rest of the way as the snow started to really come down. By the time I left, the snow had only picked up, and the backup (bumper to bumper) stretched for several miles. There's no way they all were going to make it for the tree lighting. But I didn't care - my work was done and I limped home with just the passenger side windshield wiper working - but that's a story for another time.

I had a great day today meeting and greeting everyone who stopped in. You can't really see from the photos, but we were kind of placed right in the middle of everything, so anyone coming in kind of had to at least take a look at us. I met some super fun kids, including a young lady who is going to take the world by storm when she grows up (right now she wants to teach fashion design, but I have a hunch she may end up a math teacher), a high school teacher changing lost lives in an alternative high school in Tacoma (remember, every life you save is a life saved!), a first grade teacher whose kids are already begging for more challenging reading material (such as...say...Fibonacci Zoo?) and a 2nd grade teacher (seen above in the picture!) who just casually picked up my science book not realizing the author was standing right next to her. She is taking a really fun resource back to her students on Monday morning.

Did I mention 'throngs'?
I never know what to expect from book signings, but so far, I have never been disappointed. Today, despite the crazy snow outside and the throngs of people (who apparently come from ALL OVER on buses for this event - yes, it's a thing!), I had a really fun day. The drive home took way too long at 40 mph, partially because of the snow, and mostly because I really couldn't see out of my driver's side. But all's well, and more kids are getting some really powerful new books under their Christmas trees this year!

Oh, and just sharing some other fun news - each year at this time of year, my Everything Kids Science Experiments Book rises up Amazon's Top 100 list to near the top. It's uncanny, and so cool to watch! Today, it's at #28 (having DROPPED, mind you). Thanks to everyone who helped put it there!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Buzzin' about Books!

Had a great day at Pybus Public Market in Wenatchee last weekend! It was a better turnout than I expected, but what really blew me away was the amount of people at the market overall. It was packed on a November Saturday afternoon. Kudos to Steve Robinson who has built this public market into an events each weekend! Beside us, there was the National Diabetes Day presentations (yoga and a cooking demo, I think), the usual shops that are permanently there, and so many vendors in the aisles selling their art, craftwork, food items, and personal passions.

As for the books? There were 13 of us, all seated at tables and the vibe was very low-key and approachable. I suspect eventually I will stop saying this, but this was really my first event like this. It wasn't so much about selling books (though ultimately, that IS the goal), but more about giving folks a chance to meet local authors, here the back stories, and if they are so inclined, to buy books.

To her credit, Theresa from A Book For All Seasons (more on her later!) did a wonderful job of featuring our books, but also making it possible for folks to visit with us without feeling pressure to buy. Each attendee was given a sheet of paper with all of our names and books on it. All they had to do was stop by our spot, talk with us, and get us to sign their sheet. Once they had nine of thirteen signatures, they were entered into a drawing. And boy, did they come!

I met some wonderful kids, including Aurelia, Peter and Emmy, and my buddy Eli who ended up with a copy of Fibonacci though his dad only planned on buying my science book. Parents and grandparents who really care about developing a love of reading and learning in the next generation. Really, it was an uplifting day, and a fun day to talk about math, science, and philosophy of education (!). I was proud to sell out of one of my science books, sell all but one copy of the other, and to sell half a case of my Fibonacci Zoo.

Even better, I got to meet some local authors who have been doing this a lot longer than I have. And most are self-published, which is a growing trend in the book publishing business, but still can be a very challenging way to go. I was honored to meet Wendell George who has written several stories (Coyote Finishes the People, Last Chief Standing, and Raven Speaks) about his tribe's history in north central Washington, Jim Talbert, who has penned a non-fiction account of Lake Chelan's history (Lake Chelan Revisited), and enjoyed sitting next to Sarah Hartsig, who was sharing her first picture book as both author and illustrator - a lovely, upbeat story of a birthday party (Party for Pepper) for a mouse and all the fun decorations to count at the party.

And even more fun, Theresa has asked me back to her shop in Leavenworth for their Christmas party December 3 to sign books! And then on December 5, I'll be back up there for another author event. It is heart-warming to connect with a local bookstore owner who supports local authors and is excited about bringing us in to meet the public and share our stories.

If you think you might be in or around Leavenworth that fir
st weekend after Thanksgiving, please stop by and say hello!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

"Think Local Authors First" Book Buzz

The beautiful and fun Pybus Public Market in Wenatchee, WA
It's coming! November 7, from 11:00-1:00 pm the Pybus Market in Wenatchee, WA will be hosting its semi-annual "Think Local Authors First" Book Buzz event. The event is hosted by local (Leavenworth, WA) bookstore A Book For All Seasons.

At this event, local authors from all over North Central Washington will be on hand to share stories of their stories, to sign books, and do a meet and greet with the public.

It's been a while since I last got to present Fibonacci Zoo so I am excited to have the public come out, the LOCAL public, and see what it's all about. The weather is still fabulous in our neck of the woods, and Pybus is a rare find. There's lots to enjoy for all ages - I hope you come out and enjoy the festivities!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Village Books - Fairhaven/Bellingham (WA)

Village Books in Fairhaven/Bellingham (WA)
I earned my Master's degree from Western Washington University. However, I did so by studying at the Seattle branch, and only traveled to Bellingham for graduation. And that was 21 years ago. So I hadn't been back to this part of the state in a long, long time. I discovered that I had been missing out!

The Readings Gallery at Village Books
Village Books is a large three-story independent book store, now in its 35th year of operation and it's impressive. Books galore, people galore, and it's also connected to a cafe on its top floor, a bigger
cafe/restaurant on the bottom floor (Colophon Cafe), and a paper/art store (Paper Dreams). And now I hear talk they are expanding to a second store in Lynden later in 2015. The stage was set (literally) for a big visit.

Alas, the best laid plans... only a handful of people showed up. Here you can see what it COULD have looked like, had the house been packed. It's a lovely place for an author visit - intimate, formal enough, but still informal at the same time. It would have been dynamite with 30-40 people there. But as it was, I tip my cap to those who came, including my former student Sara and her two boys, and I gave them the best I had.

Jean Hamilton's first attempt at a Fibonacci Spiral quilt.
How great is this??
I think overall, Fibonacci was very well received. The common theme seemed to be searching for meaningful math books for grandchildren, and I think I hit the sweet spot there. One woman is the mother of a math professor at the University of Utah and was thrilled to be able to buy a book for her grandchildren that would teach them mathematics. Another woman, a quilter, told me she was going to go home and make a Fibonacci spiral quilt. I asked her to send

me a photo when she finished, thinking it would be at least several weeks, possibly months. She sent me this picture TODAY! She apologized, saying it was her first attempt and future ones would look better. But wow - isn't this awesome?

Part of the trail that connects Fairhaven to
downtown Bellingham. This may be my
favorite spot in all of Bellingham!
Oh, one other little glitch...they only had a handful of books. I think there were 4 or 5 books available for purchase. And this woman bought three of them. So despite the small crowd, several left without books in hand. They ordered copies, and will receive them in a few days, but it's sad not to be able to have the book signed by the author. I made an executive decision, then, to sign bookmarks and give one to every person there. At its worst, it's great advertising, and at its best, it's something tangible, signed by me, the author, that those without signed books can have.

The stone bridge over Whatcom Falls where I enjoyed
my picnic dinner. Beautiful!
My visit to Bellingham was wonderful. I could have explored so many more spots, but really enjoyed several, as you can see below, including the South Bay Trail that arches out over the water as you leave Fairhaven (and end up walking 5 miles round trip after finding myself in downtown Bellingham at the abrupt end of the trail!).

Whatcom Falls

Another highlight was Whatcom Falls Park, which is a series of trails through a beautiful forest with the Whatcom Creek bubbling and babbling its way over falls and down into the bay. I love exploring places I don't know and this trip afforded me that luxury.

You may not be hearing much from me in the coming month. I'm taking some time off to travel and gather my plans for the fall, when I hope to be hitting the school trail in earnest. For now, enjoy the pics, and remember, you can always "Count on Fibonacci!"

Monday, July 20, 2015

Chelan Public Library Summer Reading Program

Some of the crew from my visit to
Chelan Public Library
Further proof that learning doesn't have to stop when school lets out. Last week, about 35 learners and several parents and grandparents came to the Chelan (WA) Public Library for their weekly Summer Reading Program. Jennifer Oatey has them charged up about reading, and in a community where poverty and dis-advantage is common, the learning that takes place through programs like these is incredibly valuable to those kids who want to move ahead in the coming year of school.

I wasn't exactly sure what or whom to expect for this visit. I've done school visits but this is different, as it's by no means required. In fact, on the day I spoke, it was about 95 degrees outside, beautiful sunshine (like just about every other summer day in Chelan), and the lake was warm and inviting. And  yet, come they did.

Ok sure, maybe some came for the raffle drawing that takes place at the end of each week's events. They huddled around the prize table long before I got on stage, debating the merits of each prize. But ultimately they came for the books. And on this day, Fibonacci Zoo, was THE book.

Jennifer has done a great job of procuring and then featuring my book in the library, inviting patrons to check it out, both figuratively and literally. I noticed the audience was a bit on the young side, more like ages 3-7 than the older kids I spoke to earlier in the year.

As I am experimenting with different components of my presentation, I had been told to expect ages through maybe 5th or 6th grade. So I added a part about the writing process, about the two-year project that culminated in the publishing of this book. I think I lost some momentum there, but I do see potential for that part of the story with a slightly older audience.

See, my goal, as a speaker, is to be able to tailor my talk to any audience, from the smallest children to the more...ahem...'veteran' readers. So I have to be able to throw in (or out) a variety of stories and messages. So I lived and learned. The kids were so excited to meet each animal in succession, especially so when they figured out that they come alphabetically. And I loved watching the faces of the parents light up when they connected the Fibonacci Sequence (the actual numbers) in their minds.

Was it my best presentation, in the end? Probably not. But I'm learning that you can't throw a no-hitter every time out. As long as I can pitch my team (Team Fibonacci?) to a win, we'll call it good.

Big thanks to Jennifer at Chelan Library for setting this up for me. And now it's time to branch out from my little community. Next Monday, July 27, I will be in Bellingham, WA, at the famous Village Books, at 4:00pm for an author presentation. Another new experience, another chance to try different combinations out, depending on the audience. I may not know what that audience is until I show up, but sometimes, that's half the fun!

See you there!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Always something new...

So today, out of the blue, I get a package in the mail. It's from Adams Media, my publisher for my two Everything Kids Science Experiments books. Typically, the only time I hear from them is when sales totals are reported, so this was a bit unexpected.

I open the package to find four copies of  these... The Everything Kids Science Experiments Korean!
The Everything Kids Science Experiments Book...
translated and re-designed for Korea!

It seems my book has a new life, and it's going to be in Korea. Thanks to an observant former student (Scoop Boxly), I have learned that the 'awards' at the top of the page mean, generally, 1) it's a great seller, 2) it's popular in other countries (like...the US...where it was written and published...but perhaps the Koreans who will buy this don't know that), and 3) it's filled with good science.

I did some sleuthing myself and figured out that the main title (highlighted in yellow) says 'Science Experiments'. Can't find my name on it, but the original cover is there, which is cool.
Not the clearest picture of the inside, but then again, I can't read a word anyway.

So apparently this is a thing and yes, it just happened. My first book has been translated into Korean. That now makes the third language I've been published in (Spanish language version of Fibonacci Zoo), and a very odd, exciting day for me. I'm not really sure what to do with all the copies I have, but if I ever meet a Korean child who doesn't yet speak English, I'm ready!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Seattle Times - July 7

Shout out to the Seattle Times for announcing my book in its Local Books section! I'd like to think that my book stands out from the others and might just catch someone's eye.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Village Books - Bellingham, WA (July 27)

I am pleased to announce that I will be traveling to Bellingham (WA) for a "Lit Live" author event/presentation/book signing on July 27. It will all begin at 4:00 pm, and I invite all of you in the greater Bellingham area to stop by for a visit.

Though this won't be my first visit to Bellingham (I did earn a Master's Degree from Western Washington University), it will be my first visit to Village Books, and I am really excited to share the story of the Fibonacci Zoo with kids of all ages (even those that are bringing their own kids to the event!)

Village Books, Bellingham, WA

Village Books and Paper Dreams
Reading Gallery (bottom level)
1200 11th St.
Bellingham, WA  98225
Phone: 360-671-2626

July 27, 4:00 pm

For more information:

Looking forward to seeing  you all there!!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Blogger Reviews

The whole concept of blogger reviews is new to me. But I really like it! Arbordale sends these bloggers copies of my book and they post their impressions and review on their blogs. Then, as a fun way to promote the books, they hold a contest to give them away to a lucky winner. The blogger generates traffic to his or her site, and the author (me!) gets recognition for his book and gets potential readers connected to his book.

I'm really happy to see the first set of review come in. Here is a sampling:

Feathered Quill Book Reviews - June 2015

"This is an excellent book to introduce young students to numbers and patterns. The visual imagery presented in this book will make it easy for students to understand and grasp Fibonacci sequencing. Simply introducing mathematical concepts sans a way for children to visualize them can be a daunting task for many. In addition to Eli's notebook there are small sidebars with the equations and sequence (2 + 3 = 5 and 1 1 2 3 5). The artwork is very vibrant and appealing, drawing one's eye to the animals. In the back of the book there are four pages of activities as well as free complementary activities on the publisher's website." 

Click on the link below to see more excerpts from blogger reviews. In each case, you can click on the blog link to see the full review. And a special thank you to Heck of a Bunch, Connie Withay, Feathered Quill Book Reviews, Chat with Vera, and Outnumbered 3-1 for your time and kind words!

Fibonacci Zoo blogger reviews

Thursday, May 21, 2015

This Is Why I Do What I Do

No big post this time. I just wanted to share this wonderful picture that shows better than any of my words can explain why I write books for children. This is what it's all about!
Robert reading Fibonacci Zoo to some wonderful children.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Chelan - Morgen Owings Elementary Author Visit

What a great day to talk Fibonacci! This morning I got to spend 40 minutes each with four different groups of second and third graders, talking about 'the Zoo'. More than 200 students in total. Boy, was I nervous!

No, not being in front of people talking. I do that for a living as a high school teacher. No, it was being in front of second and third graders that made me a little nervous. See, what is it that really motivates an eight-year old? For some, it's the excitement of coming to school and learning each day - that's awesome! For others, it's just trying to sit still when there is all this energy inside just waiting to get out. For a few, it's a chance to tell another person a story about their life, relevant to the conversation or not. I heard after the fact that 'some famous author was coming to their school to talk about his book.'. My first response was, "Who?" was me.

Fibonacci wouldn't appear to be for the faint of heart. Yes, the sequence is simple enough, but oh, the applications! Still, would it be enough to talk about mating bunnies and zoo animals to keep these youngsters content and still for 40 minutes? The answer was a resounding YES.

These sweet children were such a delight! They asked questions, told me about their bunnies at home, this time they went to the zoo and saw a gorilla just like the 13 in the book, how a cousin speaks Italian (like Fibonacci) and on and on. No one was really that curious about how the book-writing process works, but then again, these were younger students, apparently really excited to meet a famous author (as soon as I figure out who that is, I will let you know!)

I think the best part was filling out our 'notebooks' just like Eli did, and discovering the pattern in the process. It was astounding how many of these kids figured out the pattern on their own without any hints or prompting from me. They discovered the animals were coming in alphabetical order, and easily predicted which animal would be next (except for the geese. They were gorillas). But the best part was when the book ended with a challenge to guess how many animals the next exhibit would hold. I was fascinated by the guesses, from a low of 20 to a high of 300. But so many figured out that after 21 comes 34, and they were expecting to see 34 iguanas, which they did, each one beautifully illustrated by Christina Wald.

I admit - doing four straight presentations is a little tiring, but the adrenaline was pumping, and the smiles on the faces kids discovering a powerful sequence, then successfully drawing their own Fibonacci spiral was what I will remember.

You know - I think I could get used to this...

Friday, May 15, 2015

WWU Woodring Love!

I am happy to announce that the Woodring College of Education at Western Washington University (Bellingham, WA), my Master's degree alma mater has featured my book Fibonacci Zoo on its latest alumni news page. Check it out at the link below!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Inside Story - Success!

What a night! May 5, twenty-eight authors gathered in the UW Bookstore -Bellevue to tout our new books. I don't get rattled all that easily, but this night was something completely new for me. So many people there who knew lots of other people. I felt like I had been invited to a party where everyone knew everyone, and I was the only person new to the group.

But it wasn't like that at all. We all had our displays set out, ready for us, and the best part of it all was seeing my hardcover books for the FIRST TIME! Hats off to Lee, Donna, Heather, and Katie at Arbordale Publishing who went above and beyond to make sure that Andrea (Gabriel, author and illustrator of Wandering Woolly, also from Arbordale) and I had our books for the event. They made it with just a couple of hours to spare!

They told us there was food and wine available to enjoy but a) I didn't find out until it was too late to get any, and b) I was so nervous, I couldn't really eat anyway. What do you do at an event like this? Do people just come up to you and talk to you? Do they actually buy your book?

What if I sit there the whole night, having driven three hours to get there, to be followed by a three-hour drive back home, and no one wants my book? It's daunting. It's frightening. And it's exhilarating!

Just before the evening began, I got a sign everything was going to be ok. Jeff (The Drake) Heckel showed up, the first of THREE former students who came to see me and buy my book. What an honor it was to sign the very first copy of Fibonacci Zoo for Jeff and his kids. And then another Jeff (Wood) showed up with his wife. And then it was Bethany and Garrett with their kids and all of a sudden, I felt like a bit of a rock star.

I got my two minutes to speak, working through the presentation I had practiced, about 28 times while driving over (see earlier reference to three-hour drives...) and while the time slipped away before I could fully finish my story, I was able to close with my key line 'Remember, you can COUNT on Fibonacci!'

It got a few chuckles, and we moved on. The night was long, but then out of the blue, the lady sitting right in front, closest to me, won a trivia question and went to select her prize from the collection of books we had donated. She picked mine! Wow. I mean, I knew my friends would buy my book, but here was a lady I had never met who wanted, out of all the books she could choose from, mine! Later, when she came to have me sign it, I might have been beaming from ear to ear.

The view from my corner.
Finally the presentations ended - and by the way, what an incredibly diverse set of stories, experiences, and perspectives. I was and still am incredulous at the talent I saw that night. But then it was the 'free-for-all' time. Well, not like the books were free for still had to pay for them. But the lines started, and the books started moving, I was signing, making conversations with teachers, librarians, book sellers,etc. And it was such a rush! It was not unlike being at a farmer's market or a trade show where you see people approaching and wonder, are they coming to see me? You don't want to seem desperate or needy, but you don't want to blow them off either. It was almost an out of body experience for me. Pictures with my students, dedications to whole schools and classrooms, and just like that it was over, and there I was...with ONE copy left over. I looked around. Some authors had stacks left over. Some sold well. But I sold all but one of mine and I felt like they had gone to good homes or schools, where good kids will get to read about and learn good math.

Truth be told, afterwards, I was exhausted, emotionally spent. It didn't help that I had taught all day, then driven (how many hours was it?) across the passes to get there. But I was light as air, not wanting the night to end. I said my thank yous, grabbed some M&Ms for the road, and left, wondering when my next event would be, and how popular my book really was going to be. For one night, however, everything felt right.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

SCBWI Inside Story - May 5 - UW Bookstore - Bellevue, WA

Twice a year, once in spring and once in fall, the Western Washington region of SCBWI (The Society of Children's Bookwriters and Illustrators) hosts a really fun and important event called Inside Story. Authors from the region gather together to present (alas, very briefly) their new releases, meet and greet the public, sign copies of their books, and much more.

I was originally planning on attending the event this past November, but then my release date was postponed to, well, actually, yesterday, April 28!

INTERLUDE- Fibonacci Zoo is out!! Actually, the books are all in the process of being shipped to booksellers around the country, but I can now finally say, after nearly two years of work on this project, that my book is out and available for sale. Woo-hoo!!

Ok, interlude over. So now it's almost May, and the time has rolled around for me to attend. The event will be this coming Tuesday, May 5 (just one day after Star Wars day - you sci-fi nerds know who you are) at the University of Washington Bookstore (Go Dawgs!) in BELLEVUE (not the main branch by campus).
Photo credit:
The event runs from 7:00-9:00 and there will be 28 of us there promoting our books. I would love to see some 'fans' out there welcoming in Fibonacci and coming to say hello! We THINK (hope, pray) we will have books there in time for signing after the event, but we're cutting it close. Regardless, you'll get to hear some of the back story behind the writing and publishing of this exquisite book (and no, I'm not in any way biased!) along with many others, and there will be fun for the whole family - details below!

TUESDAY • MAY 5 • 7:00PM

SCBWI Inside Story

Bellevue Store

Love children's books? Crazy about kidlit? University Book Store and The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators of Western Washington are excited to present this spring's "Inside Story" event for booksellers, librarians, teachers, and children's book lovers. Featuring over 25 local children's book authors and illustrators, the evening will feature behind-the-scenes looks at all of the authors' and illustrators' most recent or upcoming publications. Additional activities will include fun trivia games, cool prizes, tasty treats, time for book signing, and the opportunity to meet and chat with dozens of talented authors and illustrators from the area.

Participating authors and illustrators will be:

Kevan Atteberry, Martha Brockenbrough, Dori Hillestad Butler, Stacey R. Campbell, Andrea Gabriel, Kathryn O. Galbraith, Joanna Gorham, Shannon Grogan, Brenda Z. Guiberson, Steven Henry, Patrick Jennings, Kelly Jones, Doug Keith, Karen Kincy, Sara Nickerson, Margaret Read MacDonald, Craig Orback, Julie Paschkis, Katherine Pryor,
Tom Robinson, Jeanne Ryan, Suzanne Selfors, Rori Shay, Dana Sullivan, Derek Sullivan, Laurie Ann Thompson, Carly Anne West, and Toni Yuly

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Golden Wha....?

So there I was, minding my business, paging through the latest issue of....well...erm...let's just say it is a popular home decor magazine, aimed primarily at women, which we will call...."GH." Anywho...

As I was reading about the keys to picking the right size and style for my new chandelier (wondering if people really go out and buy new chandeliers, but realizing that this magazine article indicates they actually do!), I see "The Golden Ratio." Sweet - Fibonacci lives, even in the pages of a home design mag! Well, not so fast...
Ah, the Golden Ratio...just what you need to pick out a....wait, is that a chandelier?
What you don't see here is that in the paragraph above this box in the article, is the text below: 
Nothing like a good 'equation' to determine how big your chandelier should be, right?

So apparently the Golden Ratio is an 'equation', cool. Though, I don't see any equal signs, and I don't even see any variables. Still, 'phi' lives on! Wait. What is that again?

Let's go back to the top image. This so-called 'equation' just says to measure the length and width of the room and add the two numbers up. Change the units to inches and that's the size you want. Um...what about 1.618...? Is that some kind of ratio between the sides of your room? Or maybe how tall and how wide the chandelier should be? Maybe you need to have the number of lights and the number of chairs at your dining table in the ratio we know as phi. Something, right?

Nope. Nothing at all related in any way to Fibonacci, the actual Golden Ratio, or the number phi. It's just a term someone made up, thinking it sounded math-y enough to catch readers' eyes. Mission accomplished but for all the wrong reasons.

Note to 'GH': next time you want to share a mathematical FORMULA (which is what this is, not an equation) and you want to give it a fancy name, make sure that name doesn't belong to something else that actually IS math-y and relevant. This is no Golden Ratio. It's neither golden nor a ratio. It's simply a way to measure your room and pick out a chandelier.

Now, if I could only find a chandelier for my 21'x13' room! Wonder how big it would be....

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Release News!

Very exciting news is afoot. This week marked the arrival of my official Advance Review copy (I tell everyone it's the only existing copy in the world, but I have a hunch that might be hyperbole). That means the official release date is now set - April 28!

Order your copy of Fibonacci Zooi today!
Of course, you can always to go right now and pre-order it. Their date shows April 10, so I don't know if they have some secret pipeline to book ordering (they ARE Amazon, after all) or if that's just when they start processing pre-orders. But either way, you can get your copy on order now if you like.

From Amazon, you have three options:

But if you would like to look at even more options, and maybe learn a little more about me, the supremely talented illustrator Christina Wald, or Arbordale Publishing, just click on the hyperlinks and they will take you where you want to go.

For an in-depth look at the writing process (for me at least), and how Fibonacci Zoo came to be, please read this interview (download, if you like!). I am in the process of setting up bookstore and school visits, so anyone wishing to schedule a time for me to come out and present the book, the Fibonacci Sequence in general or its many applications, or just to talk about the challenges involved in bringing a story from idea to the bookshelves, please just message me here, or visit my web site at Author Tom Robinson.

Finally, I want to announce that my first official appearance with Fibonacci Zoo will be May 5 at
7:00 pm at the University of Washington Bookstore (Bellevue site). The event is called Inside Story and it's sponsored by the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). I will have a short time to present my book and the story behind the story to teachers, librarians, booksellers, and anyone in the general public who is interested in new children's releases. I would love to see a lot of Fibonacci fans out!

Count on Fibonacci!!

Friday, March 13, 2015

What the Flock?!?

As we inch ever closer to the release of Fibonacci Zoo, this happened.

We were flocked by Young Life last night! Flocking is a fundraiser during which a 'flock' of flamingos (is that even the correct name for a group of flamingos? Hm....time to do a little research!) [Update - a group of flamingos is called, appropriately enough, a "stand".] is surreptitiously left on an unsuspecting family's front lawn, along with an envelope with information about what Young Life is all about, what they are raising money for (usually for sending kids to summer camp), and an invitation to pay (donate) to have the flamingos removed the following night. It's a fun, low-stress way to reach out to the local community, to educate folks about what Young Life stands for (I got my Young Life start in Kent, WA in 1984), and get the kids who will ultimately benefit from the funds raised out in their community.

But ... it seems they left the wrong number of flamingos (and, apparently, a small white dog that strangely resembles our dog Roxy). 

What's the correct number? If they had visited Fibonacci Zoo first, they would know. But you don't have to visit the zoo. All you need to do is read the book to find out! Coming next month. ‪#‎ArbordaleKids‬

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Children's Book Week - May 4-10, 2015

I am pleased to announce the 96th annual Children's Book Week which will take place during the first full week of May. During this event, events will be hosted across the country in all 50 states with a focus on encouraging children to engage in reading and exploring new books. 

Look for events near you by visiting the CBW Web site. Beginning in March, children can vote for their favorite new books of the year. So encourage any kids you know to get out, read, and vote! And starting in April, be sure to have them read and vote for Fibonacci Zoo! Voting is currently closed, but you can visit this site for more information. 

I hope to be hosting an event in Chelan, WA, either at the Chelan Public Library or a Riverwalk Books as part of this year's celebration. Stay tuned for more information.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Fibonacci Zoetropes

Say what? Yes, zoetropes. And I have to confess. Before today, I had never heard that term before. But now that I have and have seen this video, I can't stop thinking about them.

What you are about to watch is the remarkable work of one John Edmark. John printed a number of 3D sculptures, each in its own way reflecting the Fibonacci Sequence. In one of the links, you will see how the 'golden angle' shows up in these pieces of art.

But the art isn't the real art here. He started them spinning, some up to 550 rpm, and then captured their spins with a stop-action video camera with a very fast shutter speed (1/2000 of a second). The combination of spin and shutter speeds produces a strobe-like effect, and the results are breathtaking.

Please take a few minutes to enjoy John's video work, and then follow the links to see some of the behind the scenes details of all that went into this production. Fibonacci. It never stops.

Try these links for the story behind this incredible video: