Brenda Z. Guiberson

Brenda Z. Guiberson
Mary M. Gallagher

Brenda Z. Guiberson has written many books for children, including Cactus Hotel, Spoonbill Swamp, Moon Bear and Disasters. As a child, Brenda never thought she wanted to be a writer—her dreams tended more toward jungle explorer. She graduated from the University of Washington with degrees in English and Fine Art. She started thinking about writing for children when her son went to elementary school, and she volunteered in his class and in the school library. After taking exciting trips that involved a fifty-foot cactus, hungry alligators and sunset-colored spoonbills, she wanted to create books for children that would be like a field trip. Her books are full of well-researched detail, and Brenda sees this research as an adventure—one that allows her to be a jungle explorer at last. She lives in Seattle, Washington.


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Moon Bear by Brenda Guiberson and Ed Young

Ed Young's illustrations perfectly complement the personality of real moon bears - as they search for food, come upon water, play among the trees, and enjoy life in the wild. Join Macmillan Children's and Animals Asia as they raise money to rescue moon bears from cruelty on bear farms.

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Author on the Web

 
Mary M. Gallagher
Brenda Z. Guiberson

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Q & A

Where did you grow up?

Mostly outdoors, along the Columbia River in eastern Washington, swimming or looking for artifacts, rocks and birds. 

 

What is your earliest memory of writing/drawing?

Most memories are of three-dimensional investigations, making forts, taking things apart, whittling, carving blocks of wood into sculpture.

 

What inspired you to write/illustrate your first book?

The idea came from reading stacks and stacks of books to my son.  The details came from a trip into the wetlands of Louisiana where we saw alligators, spoonbills and a beautiful sunset. 

 

Do you use your childhood as inspiration?

I write for the child in me, the one who thrives on adventure and surprises, on learning new things, on understanding and being understood. 

 

What books from your childhood have most influenced your work? What about adult titles?

I am just glad that there is a wonderful variety of books about so many things. I am working my way through reading them.  As a child, I loved the Secret Garden by Francis Hodgson Burnett . It was spellbinding and mysterious, hopeful and full of change, part science and part fairy tale.      

 

What are your hobbies and interests besides reading and books?

Getting together with friends and family, hiking, kayaking, watching birds, bugs and the weather.

 

What one or two words of advice would you give for young authors/illustrators?

Explore, and look closely. 

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books
by the author

Ice Bears

Brenda Z. Guiberson; illustrations by Ilya Spirin
Square Fish

On a freezing day in the arctic, two polar bear cubs venture outside with their mother. She teaches them how to use their claws so they don’t slip in their...


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Book
The Greatest Dinosaur Ever

Brenda Z. Guiberson, illustrations by Gennady Spirin
Henry Holt and Co.

Which dinosaur was the greatest? Was it the tallest, the biggest, the strongest, the smartest, the weirdest, the fastest, or the smallest? Or was it the oldest...


Available In:

Book
Mummy Mysteries (My Readers Level 3)
My Readers
Brenda Z. Guiberson
Square Fish

Mummies are like time capsules guarding long-lost information. Adapted from the acclaimed chapter book, the three stories in this book convey strange stories...


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Book
Frog Song

Brenda Guiberson; illustrations by Gennady Spirin
Henry Holt and Co.

Since the time of the dinosaurs, frogs have added their birrups and bellows to the music of the earth. Frogs are astonishing in their variety and crucial to...


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Book
Disasters

Brenda Z. Guiberson; illustrations by Brenda Z. Guiberson
Henry Holt / Christy Ottaviano Books

Natural and man-made disasters have the power to destroy thousands of lives very quickly. Both as they unfold and in the aftermath, these forces of nature...


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Book eBook
Moon Bear

Brenda Z. Guiberson; illustrations by Ed Young
Henry Holt and Co.

Brenda Guiberson's lyrical text and Ed Young's stunning illustrations combine in a winning tribute to this endagered species. Follow one moon bear in the wild...


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Earth

Brenda Z. Guiberson; illustrations by Chad Wallace
Henry Holt and Co.

The earth’s climate is getting hotter, and this warming affects habitats, food chains, and life cycles around the world. It also affects the habitat of every...


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Book
Life in the Boreal Forest

Brenda Z. Guiberson; illustrations by Gennady Spirin
Henry Holt and Co.

The great northern forest—the boreal forest—is home to a unique ecosystem of animals and plants. It covers one-third of the earth’s total forest area and is...


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Book
The Emperor Lays an Egg

Brenda Z. Guiberson; Illustrated by Joan Paley
Square Fish

All the other wild creatures have left the Antarctic. The wind is too cold and the sun does not shine during the long, dark months of winter. But the father...


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Book
Rain Rain Rainforest

Brenda Z. Guiberson, Illustrated by Steve Jenkins
Henry Holt and Co.

Splitter, splat, splash! While they sleep, the forest fills with the sounds of the night creatures. Sloop! A silky anteater slurps up thousands of ants. Flap...


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Book
Into the Sea

Brenda Z. Guiberson; Illustrated by Alix Berenzy
Square Fish

A beautiful, compelling book about the fragile life cycle of the endangered sea turtle.


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Cactus Hotel

Brenda Z. Guiberson; Illustrated by Megan Lloyd
Square Fish

It is another hot day in the desert. Birds and other animals scurry about looking for food. When they get tired, they stop to rest at a giant cactus. It is...


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Book
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