April 22nd, 2011 by Nancy
Today is Earth Day, which means you should go out and buy a gift for Earth. I heard it likes flowers.
Just kidding! But seriously, guys, today (and every day after until the next April 22nd) is a day to think about the awesome planet we live on… and one person who knows a lot about Earth and its residents (you, me, and the animals) is author Seymour Simon!
I caught up him for an email interview (so we didn’t waste paper and trees, of course):
Q: Did you always want to write about science and animals?
Seymour Simon: Always! For as long as I can remember I’ve been fascinated by the stars and by animals.
Q: What was your favorite book to read when you were a kid? What would you recommend to kids?
Seymour Simon: I used to love to read science fiction and fantasy books when I was a kid. My favorites were stories about visiting distant planets circling stars far out in the Milky Way Galaxy and reading about the creatures that might exist way out there. In fact, the first book I ever wrote (when I was in 2nd grade) was called Space Monsters! I wrote it with a pencil on lined paper and my teacher forced the kids in the class to listen to me when I read it to them. I’d recommend reading any book you enjoy, never mind the topic or the title. I loved, and still love, reading books about space and animals. And I love reading books about anything really, as long as I’m interested in what I’m reading.
Q: What are some things you think kids can do to help the environment?
Seymour Simon: I think that kids can do many things. Here are a bunch of comments on my blog that kids wrote to me about what they’re doing for Earth Day. It’s just amazing how much a single individual can do to make a difference!
Q: A lot of the books you write are dedicated to a single animal, such as dogs, cats, dolphins, and even dinosaurs! Are you scared of any animals?
Seymour Simon: Not scared, but careful. I wouldn’t walk up to a bear I met while I was walking in the woods and scratch his back. Or go over to a growling dog and offer him my fingers for lunch.
Q: Cow farts and burps, as noted on your website, are a big cause of global warming. Do you ever feel bad about eating that super yummy steak?
Seymour Simon: Only afterward. We all can’t be perfect, and I’m certainly not perfect. Some people (and some animals) are vegetarians. More power to them. But some people (and some animals) are omnivores or carnivores. I accept what I am, but I can try to help change things, such as observing Meatless Mondays each week.
Q: Was science your favorite subject growing up?
Seymour Simon: Astronomy and space. They still are favorites.
Q: What’s the most exotic animal you’ve seen in person?
Seymour Simon: Elephant seals in breeding season on a beach near Big Sur in California. Much bigger than you can imagine. And very, very noisy and smelly too!
Q: What do you think you’d rather do, and why: travel into space, deep sea dive into the depths of the ocean, or dig a tunnel to the center of the earth?
Seymour Simon: Travel into space or deep dive into the ocean are about equal. Either would be exciting and fascinating. Digging a tunnel doesn’t do much for me.
Q: What’s the most interesting fact you’ve ever learned from researching for a book you’re writing?
Seymour Simon: That there are more stars in the universe than there are grains of sand on every beach on Earth! When I speak to kids in schools around the country, I always tell them about that.
Thanks for the interview, Mr. Simon! So, Kidsmomo-ers — how about you? Leave a comment and tell us what you’d rather do, and why: travel into space, deep sea dive into the depths of the ocean, or dig a tunnel to the center of the earth? And since all three of those adventures don’t seem feasible without a lot of planning, how else will you celebrate Earth Day?
Karen doesn’t eat cows at all, and Nancy thinks she’ll start skipping meat on Mondays too. Since her favorite food is fruit, it shouldn’t be a problem!