Sunday, March 23, 2008

Non-Fiction Monday

The two most engaging powers of an author are to make new things familiar and familiar things new. ~Samuel Johnson

Isn't that such an appropriate quote for writing, and in particular for non-fiction writing? I am somewhat new at writing non-fiction and this quote seems like a great thing to keep in mind when writing. I am currently taking Anastasia Suen's young non-fiction course, and as anyone who's taken her course knows, a large part of the learning process is reading many,many books. So while I have been reading many, many books I have come across books of similar topics but written in different ways, whether it be from a different focus or just a different way of presenting general information.

One of the recent books I've read is Marilyn Singer's book Venom. It is full of brilliant photographs of beautiful, dangerous specimans. And the information is so interesting, especially if one likes to read about such venomous animals.

One of the reasons I bring this book up is that this weekend while in Toronto we visited the Toronto Zoo. And there I saw a number of the venomous animals I had read about in this book. It was so neat to know a little about these animals upon seeing them. I saw the blue poisonous dart frog, which is small, and a stunning dark royal blue with black. Then there was the emerald green boa. It was the same brilliant emerald green in real life as the photo in the book. And a butterfly, the passion vine butterfly, with black wings and a dash of fuschia pink and white on each wing. Such a beautiful butterfly, and toxic!

What I realized by being at the zoo is that there is still so much to learn from all these animals even though there have been many books written about them. There is still so much to write whether it be newly presented old information or brand new information to teach children.

Come and check out the Non-fiction round-up at Anastasia Suen's blog.

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