Bianca Lavies has led a life most would envy. She was born in Holland and emigrated to New Zealand and then to South Africa. When life there didn't suit her, she and an American friend sailed across the Atlantic is a 30-foot boat. Once here, she boldly went to the National Geographic magazine where she presented her photos and was hired.
For nearly two decades she traveled the world writing stories and taking photographs. In Brazil she covered (and was covered) by killer bees, in Mexico she was the photographer on site at the discovery of the winter home of monarch butterflies, in Canada she slithered among thousands of snakes, and in Florida she swam under water in lush mangrove swamps. After leaving the magazine, Lavies began developing nonfiction books for children and has written and illustrated thirteen in six years. Lavies does her own page layout and design. She is unusual in that she has control over all the elements of her books, and all of her books have been published by Dutton.
Building on her experiences, earlier Lavies has produced Lily Pad Pond, It's an Armadillo!, The Secretive Timber Rattlesnake, The Atlantic Salmon, Monarch Butterflies: Mysterious Travellers, A Gathering of Garter Snakes, Mangrove Wilderness, Killer Bees and Tundra Swans.
Ten of her 13 books have been selected as NSTA-CBC Outstanding Science Trade Books for Children. Two became ALA Notable Children's Books and five were selected by the Child Study Association Children's Books of the Year to name just a few of her many awards. Her keen observations and sense of wonder are her hallmark.
Her backyard in Annapolis, Maryland has been the site for several books. Among them are Tree Trunk Traffic, Backyard Hunter: the Praying Mantis, Wasps at Home, and Compost Critters. To study the wasps, Lavies built a window box with a glass bottom. She was able to study and photograph the insects from the safety of her home.
The Atlantic Salmon*
Commanding color photographs depict the life cycle of the Atlantic Salmon from its fresh water birth through its journey to the sea and it's eventual return to its stream of origin.
Dutton, 1992. ISBN 0525-44860-8. Ages 6 to 8. Harcover.
Backyard Hunter: The Praying Mantis*
Excellent color photographs and clear text detail the life of a praying mantis: hatching, molting, eating, grooming, and mating.
Dutton, 1990, Ages 9 to 12, Paperback
"Our favorite among her fine photographic nature books"
"Bianca's respect for these tiniest of creatures and her joy in the cycles of nature are apparent in both her words and her pictures.
A Gathering of Garter Snakes*
It's an Armadillo*
"This book will capture and inform young readers as only the best nonfiction can… In short, this is a dilly of an armadillo book!"
"Entomology and story melt will in a readable history of how European and African honey bees came to the Americas. Numerous color photographs illustrate the fascinating text."
Lily Pad Pond*
"The essay which can be read in the photographs is fabulous."
Mangrove Wilderness: Nature's Nursery*
"Lavies' often striking photographs accompany her informative, lively readable account of the spanerse ecology of a mangrove wilderness."
The Secretive Timber Rattlesnake*
"Riveting head-on views of rattlesnakes are the heart of this fine photo essay. Lavies's text, shaped to accompany the handsome pictures, is a well-crafted explanation of physical characteristics and behavior. The commanding artistry of the photographs and the natural interest in the subject ensure appreciative and repeated reading".
Tree Trunk Traffic*
"The quality of the pictures is overwhelmingly excellent, offering perspectives seldom seen in books for children."
"A lively text, enhanced by outstanding color photographs describes the annual migration of tundra swans from their summer home near the Arctic Circle to the waves of the Chesapeake Bay.
Wasps at Home*
"The text is pleasantly clear and descriptive. Every stage of the cycles is illustrated with large photo's that seem to bring the reader right inside the nest."
"Astonishing close-up detail."
*These books and any future books unavailable from the publisher, are available from Bianca Lavies at 410-268-9664
To work with Bianca Lavies, see our Speakers Bureau at http://www.childrensbookguild.org/speakers/bianca-lavies.