Workman publishes bible of good-old-fashioned play; sweet, gorgeous book full of outdoor activities for grannies and their green-thumbed visitors; creepily (Bugs) and gorgeously (Butterflies) visual field guides for twee explorers.
*These events are not actually connected and the timeline makes positively no sense. We’re just naturally wholesome.
Today we wish a happy birthday to George Washington, born this day in 1732.This year would mark his 280th birthday! Not only was GW our nation’s first president, he is also the very GQ cover boy of our Presidents Fandex Family Field Guide.
As the first president, Washington set the standards for the American presidency: he selected the first cabinet, oversaw the bill of rights, warned against foreign alliances, and bowed out after 2 terms. Forty-three presidents have followed since then, but most have struggled to live up to Washington’s legacy. Read about them all in the Presidents Fandex–and if you have a minute, send your birthday regards to George!
Presidents from the front and back of the deck join George Washington in celebration.
A couple of weeks ago, Workman went to the New York Comic Con for the first time. I was on hand October 8 to sign and promote the DC Comics Super Heroes and Villains Fandex. It was my first time behind a table at one of these cons and it certainly was fun. In addition to signing some autographs and posing for a few photos, I got to be interviewed by the fine folks at Silver Cheese Media. Check out the interview. And, in case any of my bosses, or the legal department at DC is watching, no, I didn’t actually sell the giant Fandex cards and pocket the money. I was going to take them home to decorate my geek-tastic bachelor pad, but then I remembered I didn’t want to be single forever, so they went back to the office.
This summer, I was driving down a country road with a friend who also happens to be a biology teacher. As we passed a pond surrounded by marshes, he said: “Hey, look! A muskrat path.” I looked to where he was pointing. I saw a lot of grass but no path. We slowed down. “There, look, can’t you see it?” I looked again. He pointed vigorously to a spot to his right. Indeed, there was an imprint about four inches wide leading towards the pond. It was minuscule. Barely distinguishable from any of the landscape around it. How on earth had he seen that from the passenger seat of a moving car, 20 yards away? He just shrugged. “I know what to look for.”
I was jealous. Not because I actually care that much about muskrats and their habitats, but because he saw more than I did. Where I only saw “grassy stuff,” he saw a dynamic, bustling hub of biodiversity.
Determined to start seeing more in the natural world, I popped the Trees Fandex into my enormous handbag and carried it around with me for the rest of the summer. My afternoons in the park now included at least 10 minutes of tree identification. Dorky? You bet. There was some gentle mocking and then, well, below you can see my friend Adam taking the matter quite seriously in the crook of a white maple.
Adam takes a hands-on approach to learning.
I can now identify a gingko, white maple, and black maple. Can you?
My daughter, Maddie, and I spent the first weekend of spring in the woods behind our house pretending to be entomologists. I equipped Maddie with both the Bugs Fandex and The Bug Bottle , and together we turned over stones, pulled bark off of dead trees, and combed through rotting leaves unearthing a wide assortment of creepy-crawlies. We even searched our garage, where we previously found Black Widow and Wolf spiders lurking.
Maddie used the Fandex to identify some of her discoveries, and used the Bug Bottle to house them in. With the exception of the couple of ticks that got on us, Maddie has pet names for her adopted critters, and they now reside in the bottle next to her bed.