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Sylvia Long

Biography

Sylvia Long

My interest in the natural world began early. It stemmed from my mother’s infectious excitement on hearing the song of an oriole, then finding its intricate hanging nest at the top of a nearby cottonwood tree. And from my father’s comments on the geology of the landscapes streaming past our car windows on our annual summer vacations --- the alluvial fans, volcanic cones, scarp and dip slopes, and the forces that created them billions of years ago. My father also taught us the names of constellations and studied the bark of trees during our woodland walks.
 
It’s second nature for me now to scan the sky for raptors, trees and bushes for songbirds, and tall grass for a katydid or praying mantis. A walk on the beach or by a stream always ends with my pockets heavy with shells or interesting rocks.
 
Illustrating nonfiction picture books is a perfect fit for me. Almost as much as drawing and painting them, I enjoyed researching all the various eggs, seeds, butterflies, and rocks for Dianna Hutts Ashton’s An Egg is Quiet (2006), A Seed is Sleepy (2007), A Butterfly is Patient (2011), and A Rock is Lively (2012, all Chronicle Books). The most fascinating thing I’ve learned is how complex nature is and how much is yet to be discovered.
 
Most of my days are spent in my studio. The view from my desk includes an orange and a pear tree, grape vines, a koi pond, and many hungry and thirsty birds and cottontails scurrying about. Over the years, I’ve accumulated a reference library as well as dozens of boxes of natural treasures.

Sylvia Long

Books by Sylvia Long

by Dianna Hutts Aston and Sylvia Long - Children's, Nature, Picture

From the award-winning creators of An Egg Is Quiet, A Seed Is Sleepy, A Butterfly Is Patient, and A Rock Is Lively comes this gorgeous and informative look at the fascinating world of nests. From tiny bee hummingbird nests to orangutan nests high in the rainforest canopy, an incredible variety of nests are showcased here in all their splendor. Poetic in voice and elegant in design, this carefully researched book introduces children to a captivating array of nest facts and will spark the imaginations of children whether in a classroom reading circle or on a parent's lap.