Meet an Award-Winning Author of 45 Nonfiction Books for Kids

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Junior Lit Chat

Sticky feet that climb anything. Trunk-like robotic arms. Super-sensitive hearing. What is this? Some kind of new superhero? No! These are all examples of REAL technology made with bionics/biomimicry.

In this fun and interactive presentation by children’s science author Jennifer Swanson, you will get an inside look at many awesome inventions being created by engineers right now! All are based on animals, some might live right in your backyard. Then it’ll be YOUR turn! You’ll get instructions on how to go outside, find an animal, observe it, and draw your own bionic invention. What will YOU design?

Be one of the first 30 children to show up at the event and receive a FREE copy of Beastly Bionics to keep!


Junior Lit Chat with Jennifer Swanson, Monday, February 13, from 4 - 4:30 p.m. This event will take place live at the South Mandarin Library and is intended for kids, ages 5-12. A book signing will follow the presentation. This event is sponsored by the Friends of the South Mandarin Branch Library.

#Click here to register!

Jennifer Swanson is the award-winning author of over 45 nonfiction books for children. Using her background in science and history that she received from the U.S. Naval Academy, and her M.S. in Education, Jennifer excels at taking complex facts and making them accessible, compelling, and humorous for young readers.  Jennifer's passion for science resonates in in all her books but especially, Astronaut-Aquanaut: How Space Science and Sea Science Interact and BEASTLY BIONICS which both received Florida Book Awards and  NSTA BEST STEM book awards.  Her Save the Crash-test Dummies book received an NSTA BEST STEM Award and a Parent’s Choice GOLD Award.  Jennifer has been a featured speaker at the Tucson Book Festival, National NSTA conferences, the Highlights Foundation, the World Science Festival the Atlanta Science Festival, and the Library of Congress’ National Book Festival. You can find Jennifer through her website


Check out all of Jennifer’s awesome science and history books in our catalog!


  1. Go outside to a nearby park, nature center, or even the zoo! Take along a notebook and sit and observe an animal. Watch what it does, how it moves and what it looks like. Then draw a picture of it. Now imagine a part of that animal or the whole animal being turned into a robot. How would that robotic animal (or animal part) be useful to humans? 
  2. Spend some time at the library going through the nonfiction section of books. Pick out books about topics you are interested in to learn more. Want to know about robots? rocks? the ocean? There are some amazing nonfiction books about that! Read the book and try to learn three new facts to share with your family and friends. 
  3. Check out my website for some FREE resources for the BEASTLY BIONICS book and many of my other books. There are cool activities to do and videos to watch.
  4. Listen to a podcast! There are some great podcasts for kids and families to listen to together. You can hear from real scientists and engineers and learn about the COL things they do in their jobs (from using a drone to test the breath of a whale to how to talk to a spaceship thousands of miles from Earth). Check out

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