I write mainly nonfiction and concept books (including lift-the-flap), as well as interactive apps. To engage children and keep them interested, and to impart information in a fun way, much of my work uses a form of “gamification”: mazes, guessing games, search-n-find, ABCs and numbers, puzzles, hidden objects, word/noun object recognition, and so forth. ECO MAZES: 12 EARTH ADVENTURES uses mazes to explore and understand ecosystems, to see the vegetation and geology, and a finding/counting game to learn about which animals live in the habitat. In HATCH! an egg or a clutch of eggs is shown. Children try to guess what kind of bird it is from hints (“The bird that lays these eggs is found on every continent except Antarctica.” “This one never drinks water” “…fastest running two-legged animal on Earth. But it can’t fly.”). In BUSY BUILDERS children check out the unusual kinds of structures certain bugs make. In SLITHERY SNAKES they are encouraged to try to figure out what kind of snake it is from the close-up scaly skin patterns shown, along with tantalizing facts about the critter: “Its common name comes from its skin pattern (like a precious stone) and its unique tail (which sounds like a child’s toy).” Turn the page and the answer appears, visually, with its name, and more fun facts – you see the snake in its home, with other creatures that live in the same habitat.
Prompt #17: Write a brief piece about a subject (it can be a person, an animal, a historical period, or even a fictional character), starting with a question, and noting fun facts that may allow the child to guess who or what you are interested in, before you give the satisfying answer.
Roxie Munro is the author/illustrator of more than 35 books. Awards include New York Times Best Illustrated, ALA Notables, and Bank Street and Smithsonian Best Books of the Year lists. She has shown her work since the age of six, winning first prize in her Maryland county’s art show, and has been a full-time artist/author ever since.by