Liz Heinecke: The Kitchen Pantry Scientist—Biology for Kids

Biology for Kids

Biology for Kids


Liz Heinecke
Quarry Books, May 11, 2021, $19.99
Series: The Kitchen Pantry Scientist
ISBN-10: 1631598325; ISBN-13: 978-1631598326

Heinecke reports:

After several years of doing science with my three young kids and blogging about our experiments and adventures on my website Kitchen Pantry Scientist, I sent out dozens of pitch letters to agents and editors, hoping to write a book based on my website work. Facing a pile of rejection letters, I decided to focus on my website and television segments featuring kids’ science experiments.

In 2013, an editor at Quarry Books (Quarto) emailed me to ask whether I would be interested in writing a book for them. Lacking an agent, I hired a local consultant to negotiate my contract and went on to write two more books before finding representation through a pitch conference at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis. Always having someone knowledgeable negotiate book contracts is worth every penny.

Liz Heinecke, photo by Amber Procaccini

Liz Heinecke, photo by Amber Procaccini

I wrote several more books for Quarry. Two years ago, my acquiring editor asked me to write a series based on my Kitchen Pantry Scientist brand. Biology for Kids is the second book in this series. Chemistry for Kids came out last year, and I just finished writing Physics for Kids, which will be published in 2022.

Because I believe that science is best taught through storytelling and hands-on experience, I melded story with experimentation. Each book in the series contains biographies of 25 scientists, past to present, paired with projects related to their work. For example, after learning about Louie Pasteur in Biology for Kids, readers can recreate his seminal swan-neck flask experiment using jars, bendy straws, and apple juice.

Photo shoots for the books are chaotic and fun. Amber Procaccini’s photographs of smiling kids doing experiments, along with portraits of scientists by artist Kelly Anne Dalton, bring my words to life. Quarto’s design team lays out the pages beautifully.

The best part of writing the Kitchen Pantry Scientist Series has been the opportunity to feature inspiring modern scientists, who have been kind enough to work with me on their biographies. The hardest thing has been writing so many books so quickly. It is a nice problem to have.

Contact info:

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Hero image by Sid Saxena on Unsplash.

May 10, 2021

Advance Copy

The path from idea to book may take myriad routes. The Advance Copy column, started in 2000 by NASW volunteer book editor Lynne Lamberg, features NASW authors telling the stories behind their books. Authors are asked to report how they got their idea, honed it into a proposal, found an agent and a publisher, funded and conducted their research, and organized their writing process. They also are asked to share what they wish they’d known when they started or would do differently next time, and what advice they can offer aspiring authors. Lamberg edits the authors’ answers to produce the Advance Copy reports.

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