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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.


My Books

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

 

Compost Critters
Stunning close-up color photos show a host of inhabitants transforming organic garbage into humus.
Dutton, 1993, ISBN 0-525-44763-6, Ages 9 to 12, Hardcover.

"Our favorite among her fine photographic nature books"
~Kirkus

"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.
~School Library Journal

 

A Gathering of Garter Snakes*
This fascinating photo-essay documents the mass hibernation and other behaviors that are part of the red-sided garter snake's adaptation to a harsh northern climate. Aggressive mating in the pit is followed by an arduous migration to and from food-abundant marshes. One humorous sequence of photographs shows a town inundated with snakes wriggling across roads, doorsteps, and kitchen counters on the way to their destination.
Dutton 1993, ISBN 0-525-45099-8, Ages 9 to 12, Hardcover.

 

It's an Armadillo*
Dutton 1989, ISBN 0-525-44523-4, Ages 5 to 8, Hardcover.

"This book will capture and inform young readers as only the best nonfiction can… In short, this is a dilly of an armadillo book!"
~School Library Journal

 

Killer Bees*
Dutton 1994, Ages 9 to 12, Paperback

"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."
~The Horn Book

Lily Pad Pond*
From tadpole to bullfrog and other lives in a pond.

"The essay which can be read in the photographs is fabulous."
~Appraisal
Dutton, 1989, Ages 4 to 7, Paperback.

 

Lily Pad Pond Mangrove Wilderness: Nature's Nursery*
Dutton, 1994, ISBN 0-525-45186-2, Ages 9 to 12, Hardcover

"Lavies' often striking photographs accompany her informative, lively readable account of the spanerse ecology of a mangrove wilderness."
~Booklist

 

Monarch Butterflies*
When butterfly expert Fred Urquhart went to see the monarch overwintering sites in Mexico that he had worked years to locate, Lavies accompanied him. Her pictures of that historic trip form an important part of this dramatic photo essay about the life cycle and migratory mysteries of the monarch butterfly.
Dutton, 1993, Ages 9 to 12, Paperback.

 

The Secretive Timber Rattlesnake*
Dutton, 1990, Ages 8 to 11, Paperback.

"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".
~The Horn Book

 

Tree Trunk Traffic*
Bianca Lavies takes a close-up look at all the creatures who live in and around her backyard maple tree.
Dutton, 1989. Ages 4 to 7, Paperback.

"The quality of the pictures is overwhelmingly excellent, offering perspectives seldom seen in books for children."
~The Horn Book

 

Tundra Swans*
Dutton, 1995, ISBN 0-525-45273-7, Ages 7 to 12, Hardcover.

"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.
~Childhood Education

 

Wasps at Home*
Photo essay focussing on the activities of paper wasps and bald-faced hornets.
Dutton, 1991, ISBN 0-525-44704-0 Ages 9 to 12, Hardcover.

"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."
~Booklist

"Astonishing close-up detail."
~School Library Journal

*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.

 

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