Anastasia Suen

Developmental Editor

Whoosh!: Lonnie Johnson’s Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions

Whoosh!: Lonnie Johnson’s Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions
by Chris Barton (Author) and Don Tate (Illustrator)

Booktalk: The Super Soaker is one of top twenty toys of all time. And it was invented entirely by accident. Trying to create a new cooling system for refrigerators and air conditioners, impressive inventor Lonnie Johnson instead created the mechanics for the iconic toy.

A love for rockets, robots, inventions, and a mind for creativity began early in Lonnie Johnson’s life. Growing up in a house full of brothers and sisters, persistence and a passion for problem solving became the cornerstone for a career as an engineer and his work with NASA. But it is his invention of the Super Soaker water gun that has made his most memorable splash with kids and adults.

Snippet: When NASA was sending an orbiter and probe called Galileo to Jupiter, the space agency needed to ensure a constant supply of power to the computer memory. The engineer who had to figure out how to do it was Lonnie.


Don is one of my former students!

It’s STEM Friday! (STEM is Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)

Copyright © 2016 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.

The Gingerbread Man Loose at The Zoo

The Gingerbread Man Loose at The Zoo
by Laura Murray (Author) and Mike Lowery (Illustrator)

Booktalk: Is there anything more fun than a class trip to the zoo? The Gingerbread Man and his classmates don’t think so, and they get to solve riddles on a WILD scavenger hunt. They meet giraffes, monkeys, and even a fox (especially scary for a Gingerbread Man!).

But a zoo full of critters is a tricky place for a tasty cookie–even a very fast one–and the Gingerbread Man ends up separated from his friends. He needs to solve all of the riddles to catch up with his class and help someone else who is lost.

I’ll be a detective.
I know that I can!
I’ll solve all these clues.
I’m the Gingerbread Man!

Copyright © 2016 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.

Evie Brooks in Central Park Showdown

Evie Brooks in Central Park Showdown
by Sheila Agnew (Author)

Booktalk: Evie Brooks is having the time of her life in New York, despite having to start her first day of school with a stye on her eye and a skirt so short it shows off her baby giraffe legs. Nevertheless, Evie makes new friends – maybe even a boyfriend, although how can you tell whether he’s a boyfriend or just a boy who happens to be a friend? And life with her Uncle Scott continues to be a whirlwind as he adds the Central Park Zoo to his list of vet clients. Once again the practice is inundated with the city’s strangest pets and inmates, including an alpaca named Milly, Eddie the Westipoo, Jax the snail, and a rabbit named Dr. Pepper that goes walkabout in Central Park. Evie is almost too busy to notice that the father she’s never met has darkened her door and is anxious to make amends and seek custody of Evie. Well, Evie won’t have any part of that. Nobody is going to separate her from Uncle Scott, not even the courts and a lawyer named Marcy, who claims to be representing her interests but won’t let her speak. That is not Evie’s style, however, and she is determined to find a way to stay with her uncle, with a little help from her friends.

Snippet: I was dreading my turn so much that my palms got all sweaty. That’s not completely accurate, only my left hand got sweaty, which is weird. Anyway, I didn’t have a clue what I was supposed to say. I could try:

“Hi, I’m Evie. My mum, who was a brilliant actress (but not rich or famous) died five months ago. I’ve never had a dad because he ran away before I was born, but some guy claiming to be my father turned up at my uncle’s veterinary clinic last week. Oh, and that thing that looks like a pimple on my eye is just a stye–it’s temporary and not contagious, in case you were wondering.”

Copyright © 2016 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.

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