Arizona Way Out West & Wacky
by Conrad J. Storad and Lynda Exley
"Conrad Storad and Lynda Exley have done it! They engage their readers on every level to keep learning about Arizona fun." --The Mornin' Mayor Dave Pratt. www.DavePrattLive.com
Conrad J. Storad
An award-winning author of more than 30 science and nature books for children and young adults, Storad's Don't Call Me Pig! (A Javelina Story) was selected by Arizona's 2005 Governor, Janet Napolitano, as part of her program to promote reading. More than 93,000 Arizona first-graders received a special edition copy. In 2001, the Arizona Library Association honored Storad with the Judy Goddard Award as "Arizona Children's Author of the Year." Other awards include: Arizona Book Publishers Association's Best Book, 2008; Arizona Authors Association, Best Children's Literature, 2010; Grand Canyon Young Readers Honor Book, 2006; Arizona Press Woman; Best Children's Fiction Book, 2011; Best Children's Non-Fiction Book, 2011; Glyph Awards: Best Children's Non-Fiction, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011.
Storad's other picture books include: Rattlesnake Rules, Desert Night Shift, Life in the Slow Lane, Lizards for Lunch and Don't Ever Cross That Road! Storad is also author of a series of books written for readers in second through fourth grade. Titles include: Saguaro Cactus, Scorpions, Tarantulas, Hippos, Earth's Crust and The Circulatory System. New titles include Mars, Fossil Fuels, Gila Monsters, Javelinas, Galapagos Tortoises and Piranhas. A newly revised edition of Sonoran Desert A to Z, Storad's popular coloring/learning book, which includes Little Lords of the Desert, Flying Colors and Ancient Harvest, was published in 2009. Seven new books by Storad will be released later in 2011.
Storad worked at Arizona State University after more than 24 years as a science writer and editor. He was founding editor for both the nationally award-winning ASU Research Magazine and Chain Reaction, an award-winning magazine for young readers. Storad currently resides in Tempe, Ariz., with his wife Laurie.
An independent writer/editor since 1995, Lynda Exley is currently the editor for the SanTan Sun News; editor, writer and publicist for Five Star Publications; and an editor for Arizona Parenting. She is also a former editor for Houston Parent, writer for LA Parent and associated editor for Ahwatukee Monthly among other publications.
An Arizona Press Women member since 1997, Exley has to her credit more than 50 national and state awards for editing and writing. She is the recipient of Arizona Newspaper Association's "Best Entry Outstanding Writing" award, a three-time National Federal of Press Women Communications Contest winner for writing and editing, and has garnered more than a dozen first-place wins in the Arizona Press Women's Communications Contest.
The co-founder of KidsCanPublish.com, Exley is also a public speaker on the topics of writing, publishing, public relations and Arizona history for both adults and children in grades one through eight. She has spoken to thousands of students in just the past few years. She lives in Tempe, Ariz., with her husband, Mark Moorehead, and son, Michael Moorehead, who had his children's book, The Student From Zombie Island: Conquering the Rumor Monster, published at age 11. The acorn certainly doesn't fall far from the tree in her family!
Johnny "JR" Ringo
As the Arizona State Mammal Mascot, Johnny Ringo, or JR as he is affectionately known by his friends and family, enjoys visiting with children at schools, special events and bookstores.
JR began his career in 1986, when lawmakers at the Arizona State Capital named the Ringtail the Official State Mammal. Although he is also called a Ringtail cat or miner's cat, JR's closest kin is the raccoon. The handsome Ringtail was an excellent companion to Arizona miners because he preferred dark places, and he was great at keeping pesky mice away from miners.
Seeing a Ringtail up close and personal is usually a rare occurrence because of his shy, nocturnal nature; however, JR is a very special Ringtail who has overcome most of his shyness. He enjoys entertaining children, posing for photographs and stealing a hug or two, but he is still too shy to talk.
Things weren't always so good for JR, however. Many years before becoming the Arizona State Mammal Mascot, he kept company with miners and Tommyknockers in an Arizona mine at an undisclosed location. (To learn more about Tommyknockers, read the Ghosts of History Past chapter of Arizona Way Out West & Wacky.) As the story goes, the ore played out in the mine, and all the miners left. With all the confusion of collecting their last paychecks, seeking further employment and packing all their equipment to move on to their next job opportunity, the miners left poor JR behind in the deserted mine.
Fortunately, JR was saved by an Arizona animal rescue group. After spending a brief time with a caring foster family, he was adopted by Linda Radke of Five Star Publications, who was a special education teacher before becoming an award-winning publisher. Well-known for her kind heart and love for animals, misfits and the homeless, giving JR his forever home was one of her greatest pleasures.
Once settled in as the newest Five Star family member, JR implored Radke to search for his sister, Jayne, who he hadn't seen in decades. Radke took on the challenge, located her, and now both JR and Jayne share the responsibilities of educating children about Arizona's past - and the rest, as they say, is history!
Web site: http://www.ArizonaWayOutWestAndWacky.com
$ 11.95 US
Publisher: Little Five Star, a division of Five Star Publications, Inc.
Date Published: Fall 2011
Paperback / Nonfiction
8.5 x 11
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AZ WOWW Team