Her latest book, Sounds of the Savanna (Arbordale Publishing) came out last week. In it, Jennings (and illustrator Phyllis Saroff) explains how animals communicate — through sound. The mighty lion of the savanna roars, a lioness answers, the wildebeests respond and the day springs into action as a chain of sounds brings the African plains to life until the quiet night returns.
Jennings will hold a reading and book signing at the Reston Zoo Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Jennings, a 38-year Reston resident who has worked for the Smithsonian Institution, has also written books on Mount St. Helen’s and the women’s movement. The Mount St. Helen’s book, Gopher to the Rescue: A Volcano Recovery Story was honored with the National Science Teachers’ Outstanding Science Trade Book award in 2013.
She says she finds kids are very interested in science and history if the concepts are at a level they can understand.
“If you present it in an engaging way, it leaves them with an understanding that science is great — it is part of everything in our lives,” she said. “I think translating it to young readers is my strong suit.”
Jennings said she is particularly interested in physics, which she majored in in college, and hopes to pen books about electricity and magnets.
Jennings will have additional book signing events at Reston’s Used Book Shop on Nov. 7 and at The Baltimore Zoo on Nov. 8. She will also participate in George Mason University’s Fall for the Book on Oct. 3.