Carol Hageman, Children's Author
A fun story and educational in nature, it is my mission to promote adoption and proper care of desert tortoises, help children appreciate and develop an interest in science-related topics about the Sonoran desert.
Inspired by her lifelong love of wildlife and the outdoors, first-time author Carol Hageman has written a book that's enjoyable for children up to and including third grade. Based loosely on animal behavior Hageman observed in real life, Bubby's Puddle Pond: A Tortuga's Tale of the Desert is an adventure about how to get along with others while finding one's own strengths. Currently living in Tempe, Arizona, in her free time Hageman practices yoga, reads and is a Master Gardener.
What’s the one most important thing you want readers to get out of your book?
By writing this book, it is my hope that children will learn about the importance of friendship, sharing and being brave. In addition, the back of the book provides facts about the Sonoran and the Mojave desert tortoises. The story ties in with the facts as a reference. There is a good deal of information that will help students understand the lifestyle and habitat of the tortoise. Adoption information is also included. New words are introduced, pertaining to the desert tortoise habitat, highlighted in red and then defined in a glossary. A curriculum guide is provided for teachers and educators for use in the classroom. Supplemental work sheets and color sheet can be downloaded from the website at: www.NinaStoryBooks.com
I want to pass along my lifelong curiosity and enthusiasm to today's young readers — many of whom may never have seen an animal in the wild. I hope to bring awareness to the fact that, the Sonoran desert tortoise is protected by law and we do not want to see it become endangered like the Mojave desert tortoise.
What makes you an authority on the subject of your book?
Our family owned a desert tortoise named Bubby, and I observed his behavior while gardening. I worked with the Arizona Game & Fish Department to develop the facts about the desert tortoise. I have since partnered with the AZG&F Tortoise Adoption Program to promote adoption and care of the gentle creatures. One dollar of every book sold is donated to the adoption program. AZG&F invited me to their opening day of the adoption season, which runs from April to September.
Speaking Engagements and School Presentations:
I am flexible and do presentations that are suitable for kindergarten to 3rd grade.
Presentation 1: I speak to the students about what it takes to produce a book. I purchased all of the art work for the book, including, pencil and ink sketches and the final watercolors. I walk them through the process and explain the copyright page, dedication page, etc. then, I read the story and answer questions. The sketches and art work are displayed on a table for the children to view up close.
Presentation 2: I read the book to the students and education them about the facts in the back of the book. We discuss the wild desert tortoise habitat and compare it to the adopted (captive) desert tortoise. Answer questions. Hand out color sheets.
Presentation 3: I am a Master Gardener and am a big proponent of pollinator gardens to benefit butterflies, bees and birds. Much of what is planted in the pollinator garden is suitable for the desert tortoise habitat. I discuss how they complement one another. Hand out sheet provided with suitable plant material to attract pollinators and provide food for the desert tortoise. Story is read prior to discussion.
Presentation 4: Introduce children to the art aspect of book illustrations. Start with question...how many students like to draw, read, write?
Talk about the different mediums in the art world. Including, illustrations in a book. Mention the graphic design work that goes into producing a book. Further the discussion, by helping students understand the book production process. Encourage them to develop their love for reading, writing and art. Someday they may become artists, authors, or work in an area of book production.
Read the story and answer questions. Have the children get close and view the sketches and watercolors.