Children’s Author Talks Reading and Writing at MED

Nancy CastaldoAuthor Nancy Castaldo visited MED on April 28 to talk with students in each grade about being a writer and what goes into publishing a book. Ms. Castaldo, who lives in the Hudson Valley, is the author of several nonfiction books for children, including Sniffer Dogs, The Race Around the World (Totally True Adventures), The Story of Seeds, Beastly Brains, and Pizza for the Queen.

“All writers begin as readers,” Castaldo told the students, as they gathered around her in the school library to enjoy her presentation. “Books can take you on adventures all over the place.”

She shared how she always loved books as a child and how her first published work was something she wrote while still in high school, a poem that was published in Seventeen magazine. She also talked about many of her recent books and how she developed each from just an idea to a finished story, working with editors and sometimes illustrators along the way.

“All of my books begin with a spark, something I am interested in,” she told the students while sharing her recipe for a tasty story with them. Add to that idea lots of research and writing, some captivating illustrations, and a pinch of revision, and you have book! Her recipe often also means travel to different parts of the world on fact-finding missions or to take photos for her stories. “Whenever I do one of my books I have to go and experience the things in the book,” she explained.

Ms. Castaldo chose to donate a portion of her fee to an organization called “Authors for Earth Day” and wanted the children to choose which charity the money would go to. The students could choose from a number of causes, and after a school-wide poll, they chose The Turtle Hospital for her charity.

Ms. Castaldo’s visit to our elementary school was sponsored by the MED PTA. To learn more about the author and her work, visit

Posted in District, Elementary School.