Cover Reveal: Who Was Steve Irwin?
Have a seat, children. Let me tell you a little tale.
The year was 2000. I was a recent college graduate making her way in the world, fighting the good fight against an inevitable career in librarianship (a fight that I happily lost in the end). While tooling around Portland, Oregon I came across the wild televised stylings of one Steve Irwin and it was love at first sight. The fellow was a nutcase in the best sense of the term. Whether he was fleeing hippos or climbing trees to escape Komodo dragons I was very attached to his boyish looks and seemingly genuine enthusiasm. With my friends we would buy little documentary videos of his personal life. When he died it wasn’t a surprise (see: previous mentions of his escapades) but it was shockingly sad. This was a fellow with so much life and vitality to him. Sure, sometimes he could be a bit much but he was just so doggone endearing. And then poof! Gone.
Fast forward. The year is 2014 and Grosset & Dunlap have hit the 100th book in their Who Is? / Who Was? / Quien Fue? series. I’m a fan of those books. They’re quick and catchy and act as good gateway nonfiction for longer bios. Well with the 100th book looming, Grosset & Dunlap held this book contest, which ran from March 1st through June 1st, 2014, and allowed readers to cast their vote for the personality they wanted to see featured in the 100th biography in the series. Say they, “With over 67,000 votes cast in total, Australian wildlife expert Steve Irwin was the winner with over 14,000 votes. Runners up included religious icon Mother Teresa, the country music group Florida Georgia Line, King of Pop Michael Jackson, and Kenyan political and environmental activist Wangari Maathai. Who Was Steve Irwin? will be released in Summer 2015.”
They asked if I wanted to take part in the cover reveal of the latest and you know what? I still love old Steve. I would have devoured his videos as a kid. He had pep and verve, a sense of humor and an honest-to-goodness love of the natural world that trumped everything else. So here you go, Steve my man. This one’s for you. You deserve it:
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About Betsy Bird
Betsy Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.
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