The National Science Teacher's Association, in collaboration with the Children's Book Council, compiles an annual list of Outstanding Science Trade Books, those designed for grades K-12 that promote science and literacy. Two books on the 2013 list feature illustrations by GNSI members Consie Powell and Laurie O'Keefe.
Nature's Patchwork Quilt: Understanding Habitats
written by Mary Miche; published by Dawn Publications; illustrated by Consie Powell
Just imagine all of nature, mountains, prairies, oceans, and all lying on your bed as a patchwork quilt! Take flora and fauna in their unique habitats, fold them up and you have a book, this book. Downloadable activities for this book can be found on the Dawn Publications website.
My jaunt to Washington for the 2011 GNSI meeting was also a habitat work trip; it was there that I could sketch and photograph, first-hand, the one habitat (northwest temperate rainforest) that I'd not yet added to my visual and artistic arsenal. (I've had lots of time in Appalachian temperate rainforests, but not the northwest, and northwest was the one the publisher preferred) ...A fun, fun project...
Gopher To The Rescue
written by Terry Jennings; published by Sylvan Dell; illustrated by Laurie O'Keefe
This fictionalized picture book is based on the Mount St. Helens volcanic eruption in May 1980. It features a gopher as the central character, one of the few animals that survived in his underground burrow. The illustrations focus on how the gopher helps to restore the environment with his tunnels and bring life back to the devastated area. The back of the book features additional educational supplements and activities and online resources that coordinate with the story. Illustrations are fully detailed and accurate depictions of the environmental changes, with easily read text, that use factual information to teach children about natural disasters and the resilience of nature.
I suppose having been in the illustration field for 20+ years, I am kind of late to this genre considering this was my first official illustrated children's picture book. Better late than never ( but I'm close!). Also, just so you know, I actually contacted the publisher when they were soliciting for scientific illustrations after posting it on this listserv a few years back. SOOOOOO, my extreme gratitude to this list with all of your generous input and all the opportunity it creates.
The complete 2013 list may be viewed at the NSTA website.