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Beyond the Page: Deborah Lee Rose

This week we are excited to feature Deborah Lee Rose, author of Scientists Get Dressed (Wundermill, August 2019). Get to know her through fun questions below.

What’s your favorite (current or all-time) movie, dessert, and adult book?

Movie: You’ve Got Mail, because the female protagonist cares deeply about children’s books and what they mean to children’s lives.
Dessert: Chocolate frozen yogurt, and all other things chocolate!
Adult Book: The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, because it inspires me to write children’s books I might not have imagined writing.

What did you want to be growing up?

After a family visit to the United Nations, I decided I wanted to be a UN translator when I grew up. I love learning languages, but in fact I became a “translator” through science writing and writing children’s books. Both involve translating complex concepts—scientific and/or emotional—for young readers and listeners.

What fictional place would you most like to go?

The barn in Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White…I grew up in a city, but when I would read and reread Charlotte’s Web as a kid, it seemed like I was right there with Charlotte and Wilbur, and could see and hear and touch and even smell that warm, soft place full of “real” life creatures. As a professional writer, I reread the book and discovered something I had completely missed as a child: that the character of Charlotte is a quintessential writer, who happens to work a lot like I do (or vice versa). Charlotte does research (with a help), she chooses her words carefully, she checks her spelling, she writes when everyone else is asleep, she shows her words in the best light possible, and she uses her words in hopes of making a difference in the world—to save a life.

Tell us one fun insider-fact about Scientists Get Dressed.

Scientists Get Dressed started with a photo of my adult niece, who researches freshwater quality, wearing chest waders and standing waist deep in an icy stream. When her 7-year-old daughter first showed me that photo, I said in astonishment, “This is what Mommy does for work?” I knew what her mother studied, but I had no idea how or where she did it!

Deborah Lee Rose

Deborah Lee Rose now lives in the Washington, DC area and writes from science to silly for kids of all ages. Her STEM books from WunderMill Books include the unique, new Scientists Get Dressed and the inspiring Beauty and the Beak: How Science, Technology, and a 3D-Printed Beak Rescued a Bald Eagle, coauthored with Jane Veltkamp, which won the AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize for Excellence in Science Books, the Bank Street College Cook Prize for Best STEM Picture Book, and the California Reading Association Eureka! Gold Award for Nonfiction. Her rambunctious counting book The Twelve Days of Winter from Abrams Books for Young Readers will be out in paperback this fall, with a punchout snowman/snowwoman to dress up. Her classic ocean alphabet book Into the A, B, Sea from Scholastic Press has sold more than a quarter million copies so far. 

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