Beyond wet dogs: is there water on Pluto?

Water, water...anywhere? By NASA (public domain NASA image: Image:EightTNOs.png) [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Water, water…anywhere? By NASA (public domain NASA image: Image:EightTNOs.png) [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Water runs through countries, continents, and into oceans.

Water creates watersheds, communities, that connect us all. We are linked around the globe from beginning to end by water. Now as we explore the universe for other planets, we search for the presence of water.


Capturing the look and feel of water, in words and pictures

Water Runs Through This Book“You are water–at least two-thirds of you. Even your bones! Water in the discs in your backbone give support so you can stand, walk, and run. Your brain is mostly water. If you could count the molecules inside your head, eight out of ten would be water. Water is the liquid medium necessary for many of the chemical reactions inside you. Such a simple molecule, two atoms of hydrogen and one of oxygen, but without it, we would not survive.”

(from “Bucket One: You Are Water,” Water Runs Through This Book)

One aspect of my new project, Water Runs Through This Book, is non-fiction, sharing facts about water, complemented beautifully by Jan Sonnenmair’s photography.

We last teamed up on Cowboy Up! Ride the Navajo Rodeo. It’s a pleasure to share another project with Jan.

My love letter to water

Water Runs Through This Book

Coming August 11

“Water runs through our bodies, brings food and oxygen to our cells, and allows us to breathe, sweat, stand up and move. Then water cleans up, taking away what pollutes and poisons.”

Those words, taken from the introduction to my new book, Water Runs Through This Book, express the importance of water, that most precious of resources, to the vitality of our bodies.

This title will launch on Aug. 11.

Meeting author Sonia Manzano, ‘Maria’ from Sesame Street

Nancy Bo Flood Sonia Mazano

Author Nancy Bo Flood and Sonia Manzano, author and Maria on Sesame Street, met at the 2015 International Literary Association conference.

A shining star session at ILA (International Literacy Association) was Sunday’s review of the Notable Books for a Global Society—for two reasons. One was an especially delightful surprise; the second was a stirring and inspiring description of the twenty-five 2015 Notable Books for a Global Society winners.

The surprise speaker was Sonia Manzano and you might ask, “Who?” Sonia is better known as Maria, the very person who has been the delightful—and courageous—Maria on Sesame Street for the past forty-four years!

Another surprise was that Sonia’s first children’s book, The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano, was this year’s Pura Belpre Honor Winner. On television as both an actress and screenwriter, and now as an author of books for children, Maria (Sonia) continues to break boundaries and ask children and adults to feel—and re-see, re-think—beyond our comfort zones.

On Sesame Street, Maria presented diversity to children in many areas that had been kept “silent”: gay friends, people of all ethnicities as stars, and for the first time on children’s TV programming, the celebration of death (Mr. Hooper) and birth (Maria’s baby) as part of life.

Sonia was the keynote speaker for this year’s celebration of the twenty-five Notable Books for a Global Society. She emphasized how seeing oneself in books is essential to every child’s experience. “Story” changed her life. When her fourth-grade teacher invited Sonia to see West Side Story, Sonia described that seeing her Puerto Rican people, music, dance, and culture celebrated on stage opened her own eyes and heart to seeing the beauty of her heritage.

Something changed inside her. No longer was she trying to ignore parts of who she was, instead she became eager and excited to learn more about her people’s stories—sing them, dance them, and speak them. In her memoir, out this August, Becoming Maria, Sonia Manzano shares her story as both a window and mirror of growing up amidst chaos and love in New York City.

This is the purpose of honoring books that serve as both windows that invite young readers to step inside the stories of children of other cultures and as mirrors, so that every child finds their own people, their own cultures, their own stories, celebrated and honored in a book. I guarantee you will too—take a look.

Barrel-racing daydream gave birth to Cowboy Up! poetry

Meet Kassidy Dennison, 2013 Indian World Champion Barrel Racer and proud member of the Navajo Nation! (Photo by & courtesy of Devyn L. Dennison)

Meet Kassidy Dennison, 2013 Indian World Champion Barrel Racer and proud member of the Navajo Nation! (Photo by & courtesy of Devyn L. Dennison)

I was standing next to the fence watching a young girl riding her horse barrel-racing, speeding around the arena, kicking up dirt and smiling from ear to ear.

I thought, I want to do that.  I want to be a rodeo-rider… and the first poem in Cowboy Up! came to me, right from that yearning.

Here’s a barrel racer many poems may be written about:

Cowboy Up! and go for a ride

cowboySilhouette2I once raised and rode horses and there is nothing like galloping across a field with the wind in your face and the feel of the horse moving under you.

Here are 10 great places and ways to share that feeling.

New Book – Out Soon!

Water Runs Through This Book

Water Runs Through This Bookby Nancy Bo Flood
photographs by Jan Sonnenmair
published by Fulcrum Publishers, Golden, Colorado

This book and the photographic images presents a sense of wonder and mystery about water, presenting unusual information – regional, global and astronomical – and then describes ways to conserve this resource that is essential to life – from birth to death.

Water Runs Through This Book is written for readers, young and old, “green or not yet green” who are interested in participating through art or action to increase water awareness and water conservation.

Through photographs, verse, and narration, this book celebrates the most essential ingredient to life: water. Author and educator Nancy Bo Flood and award-winning photographer Jan Sonnenmair combine imagination and information to explore this ever-changing yet essential element. Water Runs Through This Book is much more than an exploration of how water impacts life on Earth. It is a guide for how readers of all ages can become conservationists and protectors of this endangered resource.

Praise for Nancy Bo Flood

“Nancy Bo Flood uses poetic language to explore geology and beauty. Sand to Stone and Back Again is a wonderful read aloud to introduce and expand on classroom studies of geology, particularly the rock cycle.” -April Pulley Sayre

“Readers of all ages will be awed by nature’s breathtaking beauty, and humbled by the ongoing beat of life. The kid-friendly glossary will surely spark conversation between adults and young readers, as well as ignite a passion for the health of the planet.” -Sheri Bell-Rehwoldt

Nancy Bo Flood: Creating Cowboy Up!

Interview by Vicki Palmquist · Bookology Magazine
Cowboy Up! by the Nancy Bo FloodWhen you conceived of Cowboy Up! was the poetry format a part of your plan? If not, when did that occur?

I was standing next to the fence watching a young girl riding her horse barrel-racing, speeding around the arena, kicking up dirt and smiling from ear to ear. I thought, I want to do that. I want to be a rodeo-rider…and the first poem came to me, right from that yearning. I once raised and rode horses and there is nothing like galloping across a field with the wind in your face and the feel of the horse moving under you. On the Navajo Nation I have enjoyed the “back-yard rodeos” watching kids with their families groom their horses, braid tails, shine hooves and get ready to ride. I wanted to capture and share the experience with others. From the poems developed the book. [Read more…]

No-Name Baby review: In secrets unearthed

no-name-baby-200Review by Clementine Ellis · in the Arizona Daily Sun

Sometimes families have secrets; sometimes the secret is the family. Local author Nancy Bo Flood’s “No-Name Baby” tells the story of Italian-American teenager Sophie attempting to unravel and cope with her family’s tragic past.

Living in the aftermath of World War I, attempting to aid her mother through a tumultuous pregnancy and dealing with her less-than-understanding aunt all come to create a perfect storm and make for an interesting, but still relatable, coming-of-age story. “No-Name Baby” is an insightful and memorable piece of young adult literature. [Read more…]

New Award for Cowboy Up!

Cowboy Up! by Nancy Bo FloodCowboy Up! Ride the Navajo Rodeo by Nancy Bo Flood, published by Wordsong has been named to the 2014 Notable Books for a Global Society (NBGS) award list.

This award is sponsored by the International Reading Association (IRA) Children’s Literature and Reading Special Interest Group. Each year a panel of judges selects 25 books published in the preceding year to represent the interests of students in grades K-12 on the many issues of diversity, social justice, and multicultural literature.

More information can be found at the NBGS website. Also, their journal, The Dragon Lode, will include an annotation of each book, teaching ideas, and similar books for teachers to consider using as mentor text and/or thematic groups.

USBBY Conference Report

USBBY Conference imageAt this amazing gathering of authors, educators, librarians, editors and publishers, we celebrated the Joy of Children’s Books. Mem Fox, Peter Sis and Katherine Paterson were three of the many guest speakers. Linda Boyden, author and storyteller, and myself shared a panel presentation: Celebrating Contemporary Native Americans in Children’s Books.

Here is my presentation outline – brief with readings from several children’s books, mostly by Native Authors: How I Became A Ghost  by Tim Tingle; The Absolutely True Diary Of A Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie; Looks Like Daylight  by Deborah Ellis; and Buffalo Bird Girl by S.D. Nelson.

Five Main Points About Native American Literature

  1. We need more books about/ by Native Americans
  2. We need books with contemporary Native kids in today’s settings
  3. We need stories about individuals, free from generalizations and stereotypes
  4. We need to hear Native voices in books – all genres, anthologies, etc.
  5. We need books, nonfiction and fiction, told from Native perspective, especially about historical events that have been told inaccurately or not at all [Read more…]

Good New Books About Today’s Native Americans – Part 1

looks like daylightVery few books have been written about or by Native Americans, less than 1% of all books published for children! Most “Indian” books are about people from the past – not the present – about chiefs and princesses or re-told legends. But like all children, Native children want to see- and need to see – their own stories in books. They want to read about kids like themselves.

Books about contemporary Natives are needed. Stop the stereotypes! American Indians do not walk around wearing skins and feathers and waving tomahawks. They don’t live in teepees just as today’s suburbanites don’t live in log cabins. Native Americans are not past tense. Native people participate in all professions. Native children compete in basketball and soccer, chat on Facebook and text on cell phones. They go to school and complain about homework.

Recently several amazing Native books about contemporary kids have been published. I want to talk about several in this and later posts. First, Looks Like Daylight  by Deborah Ellis, with a foreword by Loriene Roy. [Read more…]

World Tour Blog part 2

Nancy Bo Flood writes and teaches on the Navajo Reservation where she hikes, rides her bike and attends local rodeos. She is the author of several award-winning books including Navajo Year, Walk Through Many Seasons (Arizona Book of the Year) and Warriors in the Crossfire (Colorado Book of the Year). Recent titles include No-Name Baby (namelos, Top 100 Books of the Year, Bank Street) and her newest, already a Junior Library Guild Selection, Cowboy Up, Ride the Navajo Rodeo.

The one thing I have consistently done my whole life is read books. I wasn’t always going to rodeos and writing about them. In college I wanted to learn about the brain. How do we remember, why do we forget, why we want to try new things? Just how does our brain work? So I became a research psychologist and studied brain development, also brain disorders, at the University of Minnesota and also as a post-doctoral scientist at London University. That might seem like a long way from writing books for kids, but it’s not.

Navajo Rodeo Boy by Jan SonnenmairThe story I’ve recently written is Cowboy Up, Ride the Navajo Rodeo. It’s not just about rodeo, but about the Navajo kids and families that participate and compete. This was described best by a recent review in School Library Journal:

The history and tradition of the Navajo rodeo are made lively and accessible in this “day-in-the-life” account. Short narrative poems accompany each spread, recounting the anticipation, determination, danger, and excitement of the day… Warm and inviting, the book gives a real sense of what it’s like to be a part of the Navajo rodeo.

A top-notch introduction to a unique event. [Read more…]