Gray Treefrog

David FitzSimmons is a freelance photographer and writer as well as a university professor, and he thinks it’s a shame that your kid does not know that Eastern Box Turtles can live 150 years and that crayfish can grow new legs. He photographs and writes for Outdoor Photographer, Popular Photography, and Shutterbug. His works have been exhibited at the Roger Tory Peterson Institute, the National Center for Nature Photography, and the Telluride Photo Festival. David holds a Ph.D. in English from Ohio State University, with a specialty in narrative theory, investigating the components of storytelling, something that influences his photography and writing. Now he has authored his first children’s picture book, Curious Critters .

This book features a variety of common North American Animals like the red flat bark beetle, the Eastern spiny softshell turtle, and the spotted salamander. Each animal is photographed against a white backdrop to showcase the animal’s colors, textures, and shapes. The accompanying text is the animals introducing themselves.

Pink, orange and yellow katydids are extremely rare.

For example, a bush katydid explains her bubblegum-pink color and a black swallowtail butterfly lets readers in on her secret for avoiding predators. The book ends with a couple of pages of additional bonus facts about all the animals, a silhouette quiz to help children remember all the animals about which they read, and even a glossary.

David hopes the book will inspire children to love both reading and nature.

David was inspired to photograph and write about nature by his parents, Mick and Judy FitzSimmons, active environmentalists and life-long teachers, and he is assisted in his natural history endeavors by his wife, Olivia, a naturalist, and his two daughters, Sarah and Phoebe.

To see more sample photos from Curious Critters visit: (November 2011, Wild Iris Publishing, hardcover, ages 4-8).

Red Flat Bark Beetle