Dianna Hutts Aston is the award-winning author of many internationally acclaimed books celebrating the awe and wonder of nature. Her science series, illustrated by Sylvia Long, includes AN EGG IS QUIET; A SEED IS SLEEPY; A BUTTERFLY IS PATIENT; A ROCK IS LIVELY; A NEST IS NOISY; A BEETLE IS SHY; and the final in the series, A SHELL IS COZY (Spring, 2023).
Written in a style reviewers call ‘lyrical science,’ Aston presents a wealth of information about animal and plant life cycles; adaptations; rocks and minerals; pollination and seed dispersal; habitats; and reproduction. Her hope is that the information in the series – published in Russian; Korean; Chinese; Japanese; German; Danish; French; and Romanian – will inspire children to be more than merely inhabitants of Earth. They will be compelled to be stewards of the planet with call home.
Dianna is also the author of THE MOON OVER STAR, a Coretta Scott King Honor book illustrated by Jerry Pinkney, recipient of multiple Caldecott awards. Two weeks after President Barack Obama took office, he and First Lady Michelle Obama selected the book to read to schoolchildren in the nation’s capital.
Dianna said she hadn’t realized she was writing poetry until the 2004 debut of her second book, WHEN YOU WERE BORN, illustrated by E.B. Lewis, when a reviewer called the work “free verse.”
Nor had she known she was writing science books until AN EGG IS QUIET, illustrated by Sylvia Long, received the American Academy for the Advancement of Sciences/Subaru SB&F prize for excellence in science writing, 2007. A BEETLE IS SHY was a top four finalist for the same award in 2017.
And not until she was a guest on National Public Radio/International Public Radio’s “Science Friday” (Dec. ’17) did she say to herself, “I guess all that ‘never give up’ stuff really works!”
“Being a children’s book writer wasn’t one of my dreams,” Dianna said. “But when my children were young, I rediscovered picture books and thought, “I want to do this!” Before she became a full-time children’s book writer, she was a stay-at-home mom, an award-winning journalist and editorial writer, and a candy jar painter.
On a little hill by the shore of Corpus Christi Bay, Dianna shares a home with friends, young rapscallions, Marlee Jo and Bryan, and a raucous assortment of furred, feathered and scaled house-pets, wiener dog Hank Hill (a fluffy burglar-thwarter), Cassie (Hank’s feline love interest), two doves, Pokey and She-So, (worse than squirrels), and a revolving bowl of goldfish.