April Pulley Sayre is the award-winning author of over 50 books for young readers, including If You Should Hear a Honey Guide (Houghton Mifflin), Army Ant Parade (Holt), and One is a Snail, Ten is a Crab (Candlewick). Sayre's books, renowned for their lyricism and accuracy, have been translated into several languages. Sayre has a warm, fuzzy place in her heart for bumblebees. She speaks to thousands of schoolchildren each year via Skype and has been known to encourage children to chirp and buzz as they explore the sounds of words and the joy of writing.
As a child April spent hours picking flowers, watching insects and birds, reading books, and writing. Now she does the same thing, but as a career. Her favorite part of work is researching—reading books and magazines, calling people on the phone, and visiting museums, parks, and aquariums.
April grew up in Greenville, South Carolina, and went to Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, where she studied biology, especially primatology.
"I tend to like off-beat animals such as dragonflies," admits April. "Bats, stick insects, and leaf hoppers, too. But I’ve found that just about any plant, animal or even fungus can be interesting if you approach it with an open mind, ready to learn. Sea turtles and box turtles are my recent favorites. Just thinking about blue whales boggles my mind. A few years ago I got pecked on the head by an arctic tern—one of the most graceful birds on earth. Recently I held a baby painted turtle, which had a shell not much bigger than a quarter. It was amazing to see its tiny head and neck moving back and forth. It walked across my hand before I released it into the wild."
"My advice to young writer/naturalists," says April, "is to read a lot, write a lot, go outdoors, and check out all the bizarre and beautiful insects and spiders that live on the plants in your neighborhood. Like me, you'll probably be amazed by what you find living close to home."
As co-authors of Hummingbirds: the Sun Catchers, she and her husband, native plant expert Jeff Sayre, often speak at botanical gardens, and birding festivals about birds, butterflies, bees, and the plants they depend upon.
April lives in the midwest.
April talks about writing non-fiction for kids.
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Read a Q & A with April Pulley Sayre.