Posted by: Kathy Temean | September 12, 2021


Susan Hughes has another new picture book LIGHTS DAY AND NIGHT: THE SCIENCE OF HOW LIGHT WORKS, illustrated by Ellen Rooney and published by Kids Can Press. Susan has agreed to share a copy with one lucky winner living in the United States or Canada.

All you have to do to get in the running is leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on Facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Just let me know other things you do to share the good news, so I can put the right amount of tickets in my basket for you.

Sharing on Facebook, Twitter or reblogging really helps spread the word for a new book. So, thanks for helping Susan and Ellen.

If you have signed up to follow my blog and it is delivered to you everyday, please let me know when you leave a comment and I will give you an extra ticket. Thanks!


A young girl and her cat watch a firefly glow, make shadows in the sun and learn all about how light works in this accessible, kid-friendly introduction to the science of light. Where does light come from? How does it work? What is it made of? Join a young girl and her cat on a journey of scientific discovery to find the answers to these questions and more. Over the course of a summer vacation, the pair investigate the many fascinating aspects of light, including natural and artificial light; the many uses of light; how light can be absorbed, reflected and refracted; the meaning of opaque, translucent and transparent; how the eye sees light; and why some animals need less light to see than humans.

From forest fires to traffic lights, this book also provides loads of examples of sources of light. Beginning near the shore of a lake looking up at the stars on a summer night, and ending at the same shore enjoying a fireworks display, our guides offer readers an intriguing and lyrical introduction to light and all its mysteries. The second book in the delightfully informative Science of How series, award-winning author Susan Hughes’s engaging narrative gives young children an age-appropriate overview of the science of light.

Ellen Rooney’s friendly and inviting illustrations with their many shades of blue beckon readers to be a part of the characters’ fun summertime exploration. Presenting complex topics in a graphic, appealing and easy-to-digest format, this comprehensive one-of-a-kind book strongly supports the Next Generation Science Standards. The manuscript was carefully reviewed by an expert in the field. The book includes a glossary and instructions for a shadow puppet show.


It’s wonderful when the idea for one picture book story leads to another …

So, the book journey of Lights Day and Night began five years ago, back when I first came up with the concept for a manuscript featuring sounds. After I reworked and revised that manuscript, it eventually became my #stem picture book Sounds All Around: The Science of How Light Works, which was published in May, 2021 by Kids Can Press.

I loved working with Jennifer Stokes on the manuscript. She helped ensure the narrative remained strong and the concepts focussed. And the illustrator Ellen Rooney had such smart and expansive ideas for visuals to inform and entertain—and amuse—young readers.

After enjoying this process and our teamwork so much, OF COURSE I suggested writing another #stem title as a companion book to Sounds All Around! I proposed the topic of light and was delighted when Jennifer enthusiastically agreed to take a look.

I first created an outline and then, soon after, a manuscript but was able to move on quite quickly to putting together a manuscript, since I had the first book as a template.

I pored over the science curriculum standards for grades K to 3, looking for those related to light, and then worked many of them into my manuscript. This will ensure kids reading the book may have knowledge of their own that they’re learning in school about light, and, vice versa, it will support them in their learning in the classroom.

I decided to use the same basic narrative structure and framework for this text as I had in Sounds, and again aimed to create an informative text which was also gentle and lyrical in tone. I included a “words to know” section and an activity as well.

So, after my many revisions of the text, and with Ellen Rooney’s amazing roughs transformed into final vibrant coloured illustrations, the words and art became our book Lights All Around: The Science of How Light Works, which was recently published by Kids Can Press on September 7, 2021.

Oh, and good news: we were asked to come up with a series title for the books. We chose The Science of How? What do you think? Sounds enticing?

My fingers are crossed that I’m able to add more picture books to our gorgeous series!


Susan Hughes has always loved writing. When in grade five and six, she and several friends had a writing club. They met every few weeks and read aloud their poems and stories to one another. They always began by pointing out something they liked about each piece of writing; and they always learned a lot from each other’s critiques. She and another friend wrote stories and non-fiction articles and created many issues of their self-published The Horse and Bridle Club magazine. They even sold copies to friends at school and the stable where they took riding lessons!

After finishing a university degree in English at the University of Toronto, Susan was thrilled to work at a children’s publishing company where she had the opportunity to research, fact-check, write, edit, and proofread—seeing books through from the concept stage to the final in-hand product. It was thrilling! She also began to work on her own stories and submit them to editors at traditional publishing companies.

Soon after, Susan began freelancing—and she has never stopped! An editor, story coach, writer and author, Susan works with writers, both novice and experienced, providing critiques and developmental edits, and guiding them in their writing practice. She also works with educational and independent publishers to develop books for children on topics from geography and history to science and Aboriginal studies for a wide range of grade levels. She writes commissioned stories and articles for many clients.

Susan is thrilled to have more than 30 traditionally published children’s books, including picture books, chapter books, MG novels, young adult novels, both fiction and non-fiction for all ages, with publishers such as Scholastic Canada, Kids Can Press, Owl Kids Books, and Annick Press. Her books have received multiple nominations for awards, including the Forest of Reading awards, the TD Children’s Literature Awards, and the Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children’s Literature.

She has been delighted to serve as juror for many book awards and volunteer her expertise with CODE and the CNIB.


Twitter: @childbkauthor





Ellen is an illustrator, designer, and artist. She’s from the state of Massachusetts, but now lives in the southern Okanagan Valley in British Columbia. Her first picture book as illustrator, Her Fearless Run, was published in April, 2019 and busy working on more!

Ellen loves graphic shapes, textured colour, printmaking, drawing outdoors, painting. Her hidden art powers are released when cutting up paper. As a designer, her superpower is x-ray vision: if she stares at dense information, she can see its lovely skeleton just waiting to be shown to the world. She  thinks this is why she really loves interpretive design (stuff like museum exhibits and nature trails). Or, she says, “Maybe I’m just a big nerd. Who can say?”

“I love what I do. I get to collaborate with nice, interesting people from all over the place to make wonderful things I couldn’t make on my own.”

Ellen was featured on Illustrator Saturday:

To see more of Ellen’s work, you can visit her at:




Susan, thank you for sharing your book and journey with us. What a wonderful way to help children learn about light. I can’t wait to read it. Ellen’s illustrations are gorgeous. Good luck with the book!

Talk tomorrow,



  1. how cool –

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I can’t wait to read this one! Fingers crossed I am chosen for a free copy so I can share it with my students! Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I enjoy reading books like this one and not only do I learn so much from them, but they make excellent mentor texts too. This subject is excellent and I can’t wait to read it. I’m an email subscriber and shared:

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I can think of a few kids that I know who would find this book really interesting and fun. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.
    I’ve tweeted:, and shared:
    I also follow daily by email: crs(at)codedivasites(dot)com
    Thanks again, have a great day!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Looks like a good classroom addition.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Congratulations on this series! I know kids will love it. I only wish these books had been available before I left the classroom. Best wishes!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. What a great holiday gift idea! I do subscribe to the blog – so get it in the mail – glad I figured out how to find the comment section LOL.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This looks like a great book that kids, parents, and teachers will love. I look forward to reading it. Thanks for the post. I subscribe to your blog by email.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Congrats, Susan and Ellen! I would love to win a copy of this beautiful STEM book. (I tweeted and I’m an email subscriber.)

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Oh wow, this would be a fantastic addition to our STEM library at school. I can’t wait to read this to my students. I’m a subscriber. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Thank you so much for Kathy for finding these great books and author interview. As a STEAM Teacher at the Boys and Girls Club I am always looking for literature that supports children’s natural curiosity about the world. Put my on for three tickets. I will post on FB and my Twitter Page. Good luck Susan, I will be looking forward to sharing your many books with my students.

    Liked by 1 person

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