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Sneed B. Collard, III
Sneed B. Collard III has written more than thirty acclaimed books for young people including Animal Dads, Creepy Creatures, Our Wet World, and his newest titles, Leaving Home, Butterfly Count, and Beaks!, which was just named a Junior Library Guild Selection. His 2000 book The Forest in the Clouds was named as one of Booklist's Top Ten Children's Science Books, a CBC/NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Book, an IRA Teacher's Choices Book, and a finalist for the ASPCA Henry Bergh Award.

The subjects of Sneed's books reflect his passion for nature and the environment. As the child of two biologists, he fell in love with the natural world at an early age, watching whales with his mother and catching snakes, turtles, and fish with his father. Later, he graduated with Honors in marine biology from the University of California at Berkeley. It wasn't until afterward that he decided to begin sharing his knowledge with other people through writing.

To research his books, Sneed draws upon his experience and background as a marine biologist. He often travels to the source, gathering information by interviewing scientists working in the field. In the past ten years, he's been on research trips to Costa Rica, Haiti, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Australia, and most recently, the Bahamas.
Sneed's books are especially known for their strong writing and voice. They have been featured as examples of outstanding expository writing in such books as Vicki Spandel's Six-Traits Exercise books and Absolutely Write: Teaching the Craft Elements of Writing by Carol York and Tommy Thomason. Besides his well-established nonfiction books, Sneed is now broadening his talents into fiction. His first fiction picture book, Butterfly Count has received popular praise including a review in the New York Times Book Review (7/14/02).

When he is not writing, Sneed spends his time hiking, throwing frisbee for his brilliant border collie Mattie, working in his garden, and speaking to students and teachers across the country about reading, writing, science, and travel. Sneed makes his home in Missoula, Montana.

Pocket Babies
Ages 11 and up
Most marsupials carry their babies in pockets, or pouches, even after they are grown, including the hopping kangaroo, the sleepy koala, the fierce Tasmanian devil, and even the playing-dead opossum. These special mammals can be found in many places, but Australia is home to more marsupials than any other continent. Some of them, such as kangaroos and wallabies, are numerous. But others, including bilbies and quolls, are becoming more endangered as their environments are disturbed and non-native animals are introduced. People are working hard to protect these rare and unusual creatures.
One Night in the Coral Sea
Ages 8-10
Sneed B. Collard, III
Robin Brickman, Illustrator

In 1980, scientists discovered that hundreds of corals on the Great Barrier Reef participate in a mass spawning event. Now, science author Sneed B. Collard III explains coral reefs, the coral larvae's perilous journey through the sea to their home on the reef, and the animals that depend on this ecosystem for their survival. Intricate cut-paper illustrations capture the eye-catching colors of this underwater world.
The Deep-Sea Floor
Ages 7-10
Sneed B. Collard, III
Gregory Wenzel, Illustrator

The ocean constitutes more than 99% of the living space on our planet. Yet, we still know more about the surface of the moon than we do about the many worlds that lie beneath the waves. The Deep-Sea Floor by Sneed B. Collard III, however, helps bring children up-to-date on what scientists have discovered about one of our most fascinating and remote marine ecosystems.

The book begins by providing an introduction to deep-sea research‹something that began in earnest only 130 years ago. Collard explains how early scientists used ropes, nets, and buckets to gain a glimpse of the world far below. After this introduction, the author begins describing the fascinating habitat and animals that recent scientists have discovered using sonar, remote cameras, and deep-sea submersibles.

Many deep-sea animals have relatives living in shallow waters, but deep-sea life requires unique adaptations. Since no light reaches the deep-sea floor, no plants grow there. Deep-sea animals have to rely on marine snow, the occasional "whale fall", and each other to survive. Among the unusual animals Collard describes are the tripod fish, cirrate octopuses, rattail fishes, bioluminescent animals, and the startling communities of animals living around deep-sea vents. Pleasing, classic-style color illustrations by Gregory Wenzel help bring the deep-sea environment alive as readers race from one page to another.

The Deep-Sea Floor finishes with a caution that, while we can't see this amazing world, we can harm it by mining, overfishing, and other short-sighted activities. The author challenges readers to learn more about the deep sea while becoming responsible stewards of this fragile habitat. A glossary and recommended list of books and websites make this a valuable introduction to a fascinating part of our planet.

* A Junior Library Guild Selection

Ages 5-10
Sneed B. Collard, III
Robin Brickman, Illustrator

Did you know that a toucan's large beak is actually light and mostly hollow inside? Or that a crossbill's beak gives it the perfect tool to pry apart pine cones? Or that a flamingo's beak is built upside down? Beaks!, by acclaimed children's science writer Sneed B. Collard III, explores the amazing diversity of our planet's birds by looking at their amazing, vastly different beaks. The author selected the beaks from birds he's observed all over the world, from California to Costa Rica and Australia to Asia. The book is written at two levels of text. Large-type, "younger" text whimsically presents the variety of beaks in language suited to beginning readers. "Older", more detailed text provides fascinating insights into the birds' biology and behaviors. Stunning, three-dimensional cut-paper collages by illustrator Robin Brickman make Beaks! an irresistible package for educators, librarians, and readers of all ages. Named a Junior Library Guild Selection for October, 2002.
TEETH 2008
WINGS 2008
Leaving Home
Ages: 4-10
Sneed B. Collard, III
Joan Dunning, Illustrator

Sooner or later, we all leave home. How we do it is the subject of this delightful, whimsical picture book by the author of Animal Dads, Making Animal Babies, and Beaks! As he does in his other popular picture book titles, Sneed B. Collard III once again presents a fundamental biological principle in ways that children of all ages can enjoy and relate to. In Leaving Home, we learn that when we leave home, some of us walk and crawl while others fly or swim. Some of us leave alone, while others leave in large groups. Leaving can be exciting, we find out, and a little bit sad. Ultimately, though, taking this journey helps us find out who we are. Text is organized in two levels: "big" text for younger readers and detailed text for those who want to learn more. Artist Joan Dunning's vivid, child-friendly watercolors literally leap off the page, and apt metaphor for this touching, informative book that applies to people as much as it does to animals.
Butterfly Count
Ages: 6-10
Sneed Collard III
Paul Kratter, Illustrator

Once again, it is the 4th of July. While other people light fireworks or hold barbeques, Amy and her mom drive to the Nora Belle Prairie Restoration Project. Their mission? To join other people in the annual 4th of July Butterfly Count. With the help of her new butterfly guide and more experienced butterfly watchers, Amy spends the day identifying and counting a wealth of butterfly species. These numbers, taken from counts all over North America, will be used to evaluate the health of butterfly populations. Amy and her mom, though, keep a close eye out for one special kind of endangered butterfly,the kind her great-great-grandmother loved as a child living on the prairie. Do they find it? You'll have to read the book to find out. In the back of the book, detailed butterfly descriptions and illustrations by artist Paul Kratter forms a beginning butterfly identification guide to readers new to butterflies. Additional paragraphs discuss the real 4th of July Butterfly Count, organized each year by the North American Butterfly Association. An excellent resource for parents and teachers, especially those doing classroom butterfly units each year. Featured in the New York Times Book Review (7/14/02).
Our Wet World

This is an underwater classroom. Highly recommend for any age.

Sneed B. Collard, III
James M. Needham, Illustrator

" To explore some of earth’s most fascinating watery, or aquatic, ecosystems, let’s take a swim. Put on your mask, snorkel, and flippers and dive in."

Sneed B. Collard, author and marine biologist, and James M. Needham, illustrator, take us on a journey of thirteen aquatic ecosystems from a Rocky Mountain stream or pond in midwestern United States to the deep dark bottom of the ocean.

Visit the mangrove forest on the coast of Papua, New Guinea where a fish breathes air and can climb trees; a kelp forest off the northern coast of California and find out what spiny lawn mower are; a coral reef (The Great Barrier Reef) in Australia where a three foot clam has blue "lips"

Each of the aquatic ecosystems is described and enhanced by lifelike illustrations. The "wet frontier" is mapped out in the back of the book and a glossary is included as well.

"Every plant and animal on the planet needs water to live, grow and reproduce. For many living things, water also provides a place to live."

Montverde:  Science and Scientists in a Costa Rican Cloud Forest
Ages: Young Adult
Sneed B. Collard, III

Visit Costa Rica and learn its history through the eyes of the people. Montverde was founded by the American Quakers in the 1940s. Collard gives a passionate account of his two trips (1994), interviews with scientists and photographs.

The Forest in the Clouds
Ages: 6-9
Sneed B. Collard, III

Explore the cloud forests of Central America, the mountains of Costa Rica, the glorious resplendent quetzal, the fierce margay, the slow-moving two-toed sloth, the startling harlequin frog, and dozens of other colorful and secretive animals.

A Platypus, Probably
Ages: 6-10
Sneed Collard III
Andrew Plant, Illustrator

What has a bill like a duck's and the body of a beaver? A platypus, probably. Engaging text follows a female platypus through her life, while sidebars offer in-depth information about this unique monotreme and her environment. Vivid, accurate illustrations capture the wonder of this amazing creature.
The Prairie Builders: Reconstructing America's Lost Grasslands
Ages: 10 Up
Sneed Collard III

Barely a century ago a vast tallgrass prairie covered America's heartland. Bison, elk, coyotes, and bear roamed this wilderness. Hundreds of species of prairie plants supported an explosion of birds and insects, including hundreds of kinds of butterflies. By the early part of the twentieth century, however, the tallgrass prairie was gone, its rich soils converted to farms to feed a growing world population.

Here, author Sneed B. Collard III tells the remarkable story of an effort to bring back part of the native tallgrass prairie. By following scientists who are working on the 8,000-acre Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge in Iowa, readers will learn where the vision for a new prairie came from and how a dedicated group of scientists and volunteers is working to turn this vision into reality, from locating seeds of native prairie plants to using fire to drive out weeds to 'bringing home' bison, elk, and one of the prairie's most spectacular butterflies, the Regal Fritillary.

Shep: Our Most Loyal Dog
Reliability, devotion and faithfulness: endearing qualities shared between people and their canine companions. "Shep" is the true story of a dog that became an inspiration to people around the world. Following the death of his owner in 1936, Shep watched as his body was placed on a train and shipped east. For more than five years, through rain and snow, Shep met every incoming train with hopes that he would see the man who had cared for him. Even today, people visit Fort Benton, Montana, to stand at the grave of a dog whose actions remind us of the true meaning of loyalty and heart.

More by Sneed B. Collard, III

LIZARDS [introduces readers to an impressive gallery of lizards, from the garden-variety Western fence lizard to the Texas horned lizard. While lizards may be the most common reptiles in the world, Collard shows that saurians are a pretty uncommon group. Collard's wide-ranging exploration of these flying, scampering, swimming, and slithering reptiles is ideal for budding herpetologists and casual readers alike.] (Ages 9-13)

Reign of the Sea Dragons (Ages 10-13) [Very little is known about the creatures that ruled the seas when dinosaurs roamed the earth, but award-winning science writer Sneed B. Collard III digs deep to present the facts and theories that paleontologists are discovering today. This book takes readers back to the Mesozoic Era to swim with ichthyosaurs, elasmosaurs, and pliosaurs.]

Science Warriors: The Battle Against Invasive Species (12 and up) [There are 6,200 known invasive species in the United States, and scientists are scrambling to stop their unique paths of destruction, which can take a huge toll on regional economies and ecosystems. To effectively combat an invader, scientists must know the organism inside and out: What does it eat? How does it reproduce? What was its environment like in its native home? There are many questions, but just one right answer might yield a weakness in the enemy. Introduces readers to some of the most brilliant minds, and promising advances, in the war against invasive species.]
Global Warming: A Personal Guide to Causes and Solutions - Global warming is no longer a debate. The real question is how we as individuals and societies are going to tackle it. In Global Warming: A Personal Guide to Causes and Solutions, award-winning science author Sneed B. Collard III clearly explains the roots of global warming, its implications for our planet, and the choices we all have for solving—or ignoring—the most serious environmental problem of the twenty-first century.

To find out more about Sneed's books and school visits, look up his website at