Donna M. Zappala is a children's book author, who holds a BA in Elementary Education and Psychology. Donna also holds an MA in mathematics education. Zappala has taught young children for years. Currently, she stays at home to raise her children while continuing to write almost everyday. She resides in New Jersey with her husband Adrian, a university administrator, and their three young girls.
I had the fortunate opportunity to catch up with Donna and learn more about her latest book, What Kind of Turtle Am I?...
Tell us about your path to publication.
I was inspired to write, What Kind of Turtle Am I? because books of this nature do not exist. This particular story teaches children ages 2-8 about science concepts in a fun and fictional format. It is a story about Izzy and her quest to find out what kind of turtle she is. Readers will learn the differences between turtles, tortoises and terrapins. When I approached Dragonfly Publishing, Inc. about publishing this children’s book they were thrilled because currently only nonfictional pieces exist to teach such topics that this book teaches.
What was the inspiration for your new book, "What Kind of Turtle Am I?”
My inspiration for writing this book was my love of turtles. I think they are so inquisitive. There is so much to learn about these creatures. Diamondback terrapins are native to this area. It is important to conserve them and protect their habitat. Unfortunately, construction of buildings on our wetlands has been destroying the areas that diamondback terrapins live in. They are also losing their waters due to pollution. Writing about them helps people, young and old, become aware of these special living things and hopefully save them from harm.
Why do you think it's important for children to learn about turtles, tortoises, and terrapins?
As I mentioned above, only nonfiction pieces of work teach facts and discuss information about turtles. I felt it was important to teach the differences about turtles, tortoises and terrapins to young children in a way that they could relate to. I think it is important to teach the differences between these three creatures because at first glance they all look alike but there are several differences between them. Many may not know the difference between these three. I wanted to teach young people how unique each creature is.
You're previous book is "Albert's Perfect Pet." Do you find yourself drawn to writing animal stories? Why or why not?
My first children’s book, Albert's Perfect Pet, is about a young boy searching for the perfect pet and in the process the reader learns about the science concepts of warm and cold blooded animals. “WHAT KIND OF TURTLE AM I?” teaches the differences between turtles, tortoises and terrapins. I have found myself drawn to writing about animals because they are such fascinating creatures. There is so much to learn about them. However, in the future I hope to further my horizons into other subject matters. I write almost everyday because I enjoy it so much. Therefore, my next story may be quite different from the other two. Only time will tell.