Sneed B. Collard III—Like No Other: Earth’s Coolest One-of-a-Kind Creatures

Cover of the book Like No Other: Earth’s Coolest One-of-a-Kind Creatures by Sneed B. Collard III, showing the book’s title and names of author and illustrator in brown, yellow, and red print on a dark background, along with an image of an Aye-Aye, the world’s largest nocturnal primate, living in Madagascar, with its unique elongated third finger which enables it to fish out insects from hollow cavities of trees.

Like No Other

LIKE NO OTHER:
EARTH’S COOLEST ONE-OF-A-KIND CREATURES

Sneed B. Collard III (NASW Member); Christopher Silas Neal, illustrator
Kane Press (Astra Publishing), June 18, 2024
Hardcover, $18.99, eBook, $11.99
Hardcover ISBN-13: 978-1662670077
eBook ASIN: B0CJBQ58M5
For readers aged 5 to 8 years

Collard reports:

Like No Other is a book I had been thinking about for years, waiting for the right editor and publishing house. Through my background in the biological sciences, and later, birding, I have long been intrigued by animals with no close relatives. I first started thinking about this topic when I visited New Zealand in 1988 and encountered my first tuatara—a reptile that not only lacks other species in its own family, but is actually the only animal in its scientific order. Later, I learned and wrote about Africa’s Secretarybird, the sole representative in its family, Sagittariidae.

Portrait photo of Sneed B. Collard III and his dog Lola

Sneed B. Collard III and his dog Lola

I knew that there must be other animals that had, through accident and evolution, ended up being more or less alone in the taxonomic world. I thought this would be a fascinating topic for kids. The problem? I didn’t think that any of the publishers I had worked with would take a chance on it.

Then, Harold Underdown took the reins of Kane Press. I had worked with Harold on several successful books (Beaks!; The Forest in the Clouds) at Charlesbridge Publishing, and knew him to be open-minded, creative, and passionate about science. I sent him the proposal and text for several sample animals. This book became his first acquisition at Kane.

As with my earlier books, Harold found an artist with the perfect blend of accuracy and whimsy, Christopher Silas Neal. Writing the book and pinning down the facts, though, proved more challenging than I had experienced previously.

Little information existed on animals such as South America’s Oilbird and India’s Purple Frog. I chased down authors of the few scientific papers that existed. Without exception, these and other scientists generously told me everything they knew, even if it wasn’t a lot. That experience also highlighted how little we still know about the millions of other species we share this amazing planet with!

I hope that Like No Other not only fascinates young readers, but helps stimulate a new generation of biologists.

Contact info:


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Banner image adapted from original photo by Sneed B. Collard III.

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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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