Ashland University Professor’s Amazing Picture Book Sequel Teaches Children About Animals and the Environment

Ashland University Professor’s Amazing Picture Book Sequel Teaches Children About Animals and the Environment

2/17/14 ASHLAND, Ohio - Dr. David FitzSimmons, associate professor of English, has published a second "Curious Critters" children’s picture book. Titled Curious Critters: Volume Two, the book is a follow up to Fitzsimmons’ very successful first book that received a number of awards.

“Volume one was getting so many children and families interested in nature,” Fitzsimmons said. “So I decided to make more books, to get even more kids interested in nature in their own backyards.”
Instead of seeking rare animals in exotic locations, FitzSimmons photographs common animals—many found in your own backyard—against plain, white backgrounds, producing detailed close-up images.
This unusual approach of featuring stunning images of common North American animals has proven to be very popular.

“This unconventional approach allows animals’ colors, textures, shapes and ‘personalities’ to shine through. Kids focus on the animals. That’s when the learning begins,” FitzSimmons explains. “They focus on and notice clues about animals’ behaviors, diets, life cycles and habitats.”

The second book is filled with fascinating fauna, including a beautiful butterfly, a Spanish-speaking armadillo, a mathematical moth, a bellowing alligator, a back flipping beetle, and other amazing animals.

The second book in the series is not only entertaining but also educational. Before FitzSimmons began composing the short vignettes accompanying each photo, he reviewed national science education standards. Curious Critters: Volume Two meets all the National Research Council’s life science standards for grades K-4.

The first volume of Curious Critters received five national book awards, including the 2012 IBPA Bill Fisher Award for Best First Book (Children's/Young Adult) as well as a silver medal in the prestigious Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards.

Sample flipping book pages, more info about the unique photography techniques, and signed copies of “Curious Critters” are available at “Curious Critters” is available online at the AU Campus Store at

Ashland University, which has been ranked in the top 200 colleges and universities in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities category, is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University ( values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students. ###

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