BRIARCLIFF MANOR, N.Y. -- Author Susan Hood recently visited Todd Elementary School to read to kindergartners and first-graders about frog metamorphosis and a critically endangered salamander.
Hood read from her books "Leaps and Bounce" and "Spike, The Mixed Up Monster"
“I saw a photograph of [the axolotl, a real endangered salamander],” Hood said about her “Spike” character. “To me, he looked like a Muppet and I had to research what this animal was. I just wanted to use him as a character for a friendship story, but the more I found out about him, the more amazing the real animal was. He is critically endangered and can grow any body part.”
Hood formerly worked at Nick Jr. Magazine, Sesame Workshop, Scholastic and Instructor Magazine and has written for educational publications in addition to her children's books.
She also answered questions about the axolotl and encouraged students to pursue their interests and make their own discoveries.
She also shared from her new book "Ada's Violin," which tells the true story about a group of children from a landfill in Paraguay that tour the world and perform with instruments made from recycled material.