Salamander Sky

Salamander Sky


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Every spring in the eastern region of the United States, warmer nights with steady rain bring the migration of thousands of spotted salamanders to ponds and pools, often across busy roads. These crossings are magical, and secretive—most people don't even know they happen. Salamander Sky features a mother and daughter who go out on a rainy night to help the salamanders cross the road safely. This dramatic, full-color, picture book introduces readers to the elusive spotted salamanders and the perilous nighttime journeythey take each spring. Amphibians worldwide desperately need protection. This book is a valuable tool for getting children engaged in conservation.

For Educators/Parents/Guardians/Librarians/Booksellers

Salamander Sky:

  • targets many of the Next Generation Science Standards for elementary school students, including life cycles, wetland habitats, diversity, adaptations and human impact
  • communicates a strong conservation message
  • geared toward preschool through elementary school aged students
  • models firsthand exploration and investigation in nature
  • addresses human impact on the environment and encourages active participation in solutions
  • provides a resource for science teachers, environmental educators and parents
  • to introduce inquiry to students
  • inspires engagement and curiosity
  • focuses on a vulnerable and often unnoticed species of amphibians that inhabits much of the Eastern United States
  • embraces diversity and promotes women in science

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780999076644
Publisher: Green Writers Press
Publication date: 03/09/2018
Pages: 32
Sales rank: 1,216,908
Product dimensions: 8.10(w) x 10.20(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range: 4 - 18 Years

About the Author

Katy Farber is a professional development coordinator, author, and blogger from Vermont. She writes about education, parenting, the environment and sustainability for various websites and publications. Her middle grade novel, The Order of the Trees (Green Writers Press 2015), was an Honor Book in the Nature Generation’s Green Earth Book Awards. Meg Sodano studied Biology and Animal Science at the University of Vermont and received her training in natural science illustration at Rhode Island School of Design. Some of her other illustrations are part of interpretive exhibits at Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut, Edmund Niles Huyck Preserve in New York State, the Franklin Park Children’s Zoo in Boston, and Queens Botanical Garden in New York. 

What People are Saying About This

All The Wonders Matthew C. Winner

Told in a soft spoken, poetic voice akin to that of Janel Yolen's Owl Moon, Salamander Skybrings wonder and anticipation in droves. Farber's text has all the great lean-in qualitites of a storied secret passed among friends in the lunch room, and Sodano's illustrations lead readers by mere flashlight and anticipation to a place of fascination. Salamander Sky has within its pages the power to ignite curiosity in the unexplored backyard while at the same time respecting and not disrupting nature's hand in the survival of species. And what could be better than that?


Collaborative statement from Meg and Katy together, illustrator and author, respecitively:

from Katy Farber, author:

My 10 year old hands went numb as I reached in the water and picked up a green-grey salamander (an eastern newt). I was standing in a cool brook, on shelf grey rocks that made a small waterfall in Central Pennsylvania. It’s body— tiny, delicate toes, long tapered tail, and moving head delighted me. It was not gross, slimy or disgusting, as others might have said, or implied, that girls would not like them.

Fast forward to being a camp counselor in Western New York. I led herpetology workshops with teenagers, hiking up another stream in search of pale pink salamanders to identify, record details about, and send our data to the state of New York’s Herpetology project. The teenagers’ eyes widened as they lifted heavy rocks and found the yellow eyes and long pink bodies underneath.

Then, we moved to Vermont, and luckily, we had a small pond on our property that was full of spring peepers, wood frogs, and eastern newts. We also discovered that one on night, the rarely seen spotted salamanders would cross our dirt road to get to our pond to mate. If this crossing happened when the road was busy, dozens were killed. I was disheartened, but then I saw them. The people who came out at night, in their rain coats and safety vests, helping the salamanders cross the road safely, putting up signs, and alerting their neighbors to slow down. I joined them, and have been helping salamanders cross Vermont roads for at least a decade.

In Salamander Sky, I wanted to show two female characters being thrilled and excited about the warm rain, the nighttime crossing, and the elegant bodies and coloring of the spotted salamanders. I wanted to illustrate that together they can do something important to help these fragile and beautiful creatures. And that we all have a part to play in taking care of the earth and all of its diverse inhabitants.

Now, I take my two daughters with me on the night of the Salamander Sky. We wait for the night in great excitement, we jump up and pull on our raincoats and mudboots. It connects us to each other and to the beauty of the natural world. We hope you will join us and see the magic of the Salamander Sky and these incredible creatures.

from Meg Sodano, illustrator:

When creating the pictures for Salamander Sky, I envisioned the story being read not only at homes, schools, and libraries, but also at nature centers and in environmental education programs everywhere. It is an important learning tool for introducing children and families to the spotted salamanders, their habitat, their role as a vulnerable indicator species, and their conservation needs. I hope that my illustrations and Katy’s enchanting words will inspire curious minds and ignite a desire to actively participate in conservation – not only for spotted salamanders and other amphibians, but for all wildlife and the environments (both wild and urban) that we share.

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