I ‘m willing to bet that you are familiar with Gail Gibbons’s work. Not only is she incredibly prolific, she is just one of those authors who becomes our go-to when it comes to learning with our kids. 

Gail Gibbons is the author of more than 170 books for kids. Primarily a non-fiction author, her signature style includes engaging illustrations and carefully researched topics.

In this episode, you’ll hear:

  • why Gail loves making non-fiction for kids
  • how she manages to fit such big topics between just 29 pages of a children’s book
  • Gail’s newest book (out today!) which she is especially passionate about!

Click the play button below:

Listener Guide

Use the time stamps below to skip to any part of the podcast:

  • 1:58 Meet Gail Gibbons
  • 4:29 Creating non-fiction
  • 7:45 Choosing topics
  • 17:19 Fitting BIG topics into 29 pages
  • 22:03 Gail’s newest book
  • 24:04 Gail’s influences as a child
  • 25:47 What’s next
  • 27:12 Let the kids speak

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Quotes to remember:

“When I started researching children’s books, I noticed non-fiction was pretty darn boring. It was black and white stick figures or photo essays. I went to a publisher and I pulled out slides from my television background and she said, ‘Can you match up your art work with non-fiction?’ and I said, ‘Why not?’”

I have to do research and just let my head do some work on it, sort of on a subconscious level …”

As a kid I was curious about stuff all the time and I thought it was sort of funny when I did Clocks and How They Go, because I remember as a kid I took a clock a part because I wanted to see how it worked …”

(Download the transcript above for more quotes and pull-outs.)

Books by Gail Gibbons:

(All links are Amazon affiliate links.)

Episode 103
From Seed to Plant

From Seed to Plant

$7.99

FROM THE PUBLISHER:

Do you know how a seed begins? What pollination is? How flowers, fruits, and vegetables get to be the way they are? The mystery of how seeds are formed and grow into plants is revealed for young readers in this informative book. Included in Appendix B of the Common Core State Standards.

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Clocks and how they go

Clocks and how they go

**Description from Amazon: Describes the weight clock and the spring clock and how they work.

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Zoo

Zoo

$7.99

**Description from Amazon: ‘Before the zoo opens each day a small army of keepers, vendors, and maintenance workers perform the daily tasks of cleaning and setting up. Then the crowds flock in. . . . The busy pictures are filled with details and action. The writing is crisp, clear, and informative.’ —SLJ. Outstanding ...

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Gorillas

Gorillas

$7.95

**Description from Amazon: All the wild gorillas live in Africa. They are peaceful and intelligent, and live in family groups called troops. Here are descriptions of the physical characteristics of these primates as well as information about how they live, including how they eat, raise their young, and adapt to their environm...

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Flowers

Flowers

$17.99

**Description from Amazon: Nonfiction superstar Gail Gibbons on flowers and pollination!Gail Gibbons has covered seeds, farming, vegetables, and fruits--and now it's time for flowers! This lush introduction to the basics and life cycle of flowers--including common regional species, flowers' habitable range, basic flower care ...

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The Moon Book (Avenues)

The Moon Book (Avenues)

$7.99

Some planets have many moons. Earth has one. Because it is so close to Earth, our moon is the brightest and biggest light in our night sky. Here is information about our moon, including how the oceans' tides are affected by it, why the same side always faces Earth, why there are different phases of ...

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The Reasons for Seasons

The Reasons for Seasons

$7.99

Why is there winter in the Southern Hemisphere at the same time there is summer in the Northern Hemisphere? Here is an explanation of how the position of the Earth in relation to the sun causes seasons, and the wonders that come with each one of them. Summer. Autumn. Winter. Spring comes again. Year...

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Monarch Butterfly

Monarch Butterfly

$7.99

From egg to caterpillar to butterfly, here is the story of how monarchs live. In her usual clear and concise manner, Gail Gibbons explains the wonder of these beloved and delicate creatures that can fly as high as 2,000 feet and migrate up to 4,000 miles.

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Stargazers

Stargazers

$7.99

Basic information about stars and constellations.

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Bats

Bats

$7.99

Their amazing abilities and how they fit into the natural world.

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Tornadoes!

Tornadoes!

$7.99

Tornadoes are funnel-shaped clouds that can cause massive destruction on the ground. Their winds can swirl faster than 260 miles per hour! Using her acclaimed combination of clear text and detailed illustrations, Gail Gibbons explains how tornadoes form, the scale used for classifying them, and what...

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The Honey Makers

The Honey Makers

$7.99

Get the buzz on bees in this classic nonfiction picture book by Washington Post/Children’s Book Guild Award winner, Gail Gibbons!Ever wondered how a jar of honey is made? Thousands of bees visit more than one million flowers to gather the nectar that goes into a one-pound jar of honey. Every page ...

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Weather Words and What They Mean

Weather Words and What They Mean

$7.99

Everyone talks about the weather, but not everyone understands all the words used. Where fog, clouds, frost, thunderstorms, snow, fronts, hurricanes, and other weather-related phenomena come from is explained here. Common terms that are not commonly understood are clearly defined. A list of curious ...

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Owls

Owls

$7.99

Gail Gibbons explores the mysterious world and workings of owls in her latest nonfiction picture book. She depicts numerous species of owls and discusses their biological similarities as well as their differences. She portrays their ideal habitats, life styles, birth and development and environmenta...

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The Pumpkin Book

The Pumpkin Book

$7.99

Big, small, round, tall -- pumpkins come in all shapes and sizes. Here one learns the marvels of the growth cycle of these incredible plants -- from flat seeds, to thick vines covered in golden flowers, to brilliant orange pumpkins! Gail Gibbons also relates the special role pumpkins played in the f...

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The Fruits We Eat

The Fruits We Eat

$7.99

Berries, apples, melons, and grapes; oranges, grapefruits, bananas -- yum! This scrumptious picture book, a companion to The Vegetables We Eat, offers youngsters an inviting, information-packed cornucopia of favorite fruits. Gail Gibbons combines a clear, simple text with her signature illustrations...

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Frogs

Frogs

$7.99

Their tadpole beginnings, noises they make, body parts and how they live.

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Sharks

Sharks

$7.99

Sharks first lived more than 400 million years ago, 200 million years before dinosaurs walked the earth. From the dwarf shark to the great white shark, here is information on the physical characteristics of these animals, how they differ from other fish, how they are born (some hatch from eggs, othe...

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Tool Book

Tool Book

$7.99

A board book guide to tools and what they do from beloved nonfiction author Gail Gibbons.What are tools? How do they help us make things? For busy toddlers keen on building, Gail Gibbons presents the answers to those questions in this cheerful board book introduction to tools and what they do. From ...

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Fire! Fire!

Fire! Fire!

$7.99

The alarm sounds. Fire! Fire! Big trucks roll out of the firehouse and race to the scene. Out come the soft hoses and aerial ladders. Whether the fire is in the city or in the country, on the waterfront or in a deep forest, firefighters are on the scene in moments, ready to attack the blaze.Fire! Fi...

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Hurricanes!

Hurricanes!

$7.99

Imagine a force that can toss boats around like toys, wash away bridges, and create waves as high as 18 feet. With fierce winds and torrential rains, hurricanes can do all of these things. For centuries people did not know when a hurricane was coming. Now we have new methods to predict when and wher...

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Galaxies, Galaxies!: Second Edition

Galaxies, Galaxies!: Second Edition

$7.99

Planet Earth is in the Milky Way Galaxy, the cloudy band of light that stretches clear across the night sky. How many galaxies are there in the universe? For years astronomers thought that the Milky Way was the universe. Now we know that there are billions of them. Gail Gibbons takes the reader on a...

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Cowboys and Cowgirls: YippeeYay!

Cowboys and Cowgirls: YippeeYay!

$8.00

In words and pictures, this book captures all the excitement and adventure of the Wild West. Gibbons's colorful watercolors deftly recreate cowboys clothing, equipment, and lifestyle, and the lively text includes descriptions of famous cowboys and cowgirls, as well as historical facts. Full color.

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The Post Office Book: Mail and How It Moves

The Post Office Book: Mail and How It Moves

$7.99

Do you ever mail a letter and wonder what happens to it after you drop it in the box? Read all about the post office and learn how letters are weighed, sorted, transported, culled, canceled, coded, binned, boxed, and sorted once again. Find out how people and machines work together to deliver the le...

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