– Sat, May 7
The Orlando Science Center is proud to welcome renowned children’s book author Marianne Berkes for a reading and book signing on Saturday, May 7 from 1 to 3 p.m. She will be appearing in the earth and space science hall, Our Planet, Our Universe, and reading several of her award-winning books, including Going Around the Sun, Some Planetary Fun and Over in the Ocean.
Going Around the Sun, Some Planetary Fun was released in 2008 and received an iParenting Media Award, a Mom’s Choice Award, and the Moonbeam Children’s Book Award. After the reading, guests can get their book signed by the author and then explore our solar system and beyond inside the earth and space science exhibit. Our Planet, Our Universe presents the strange curiosities of the universe and our place in it through hands-on activities and displays.
A former teacher, librarian and children’s theater director, Berkes draws her inspiration from her love of nature and storytelling. She likes to inform her readers about the importance of research. Berkes has her books fact-checked by subject experts to make sure they are accurate as well as entertaining. For example, her book on frogs was reviewed by a herpetologist at The Bronx Zoo, her seashell book by a marine biologist, her bird book by a director of bird conservation with the Audubon Society, and her ocean book by the Florida Oceanographic Coastal Center.
Berkes lives with her husband in Hobe Sound, Florida, where the cacophony of sounds she hears from the pond in back of their home served as the inspiration for her first book, Marsh Music published in 2000. She is a favorite presenter at schools and literary conferences, reading her award-winning books and talking about her publishing adventures. Her other books include Over in Australia, Amazing Animals Down Under and Seashells by the Seashore.
“I write about things that interest me,” she said. “And I love to do the research. For example, I have always been fascinated with frogs, and when I moved to Florida, I couldn’t believe the variety of sounds that came from the pond in the back of our home. I recorded them. Then, of course, I needed to find out which frog was making which sound; that required a lot of research.” Music, theater and writing have been a constant in her life and she puts all these passions to good use in her children’s picture books.
Berkes’ appearance is included with general admission to the Orlando Science Center, which is $12.00 for children, (ages 3-11), $17.00 for adults, and free for children age 2 and under. Science Center annual members also receive free entry. Admission also includes access to all the exhibits, giant screen films and live programs at the Orlando Science Center that day. Current exhibits include Curious George: Let’s Get Curious, based on the familiar characters in H.A. and Margret Rey’s classic stories published by Houghton Mifflin. Jane Goodall’s Wild Chimpanzees is now being featured on the giant screen film of the Dr. Phillips CineDome and live programing on May 7 is devoted to hands-on activities celebrating DNA Day. For more information about the Orlando Science Center, please call 407.514.2000 or visit www.osc.org. For more information about Marianne Berkes, please visit www.marianneberkes.com.