Salas, Laura Purdie

Contact Information


Book Category: Nonfiction, Fiction, Picture Books
Age Group:




If You Were the Moon. Millbrook Press/Lerner, 2017.

The Heart of a Teacher: On Staff Meetings, Lice, Field Trips, and What Really Matters. 2016.

The Putrid Poetic Ponderings of Louis J. Pasternak, AKA Dr. Skullstench. 2016.

30 Painless Classroom Poems Series
• What’s Inside? Poems to Explore the Park.
• A Need to Feed: Poems of Predators and Prey.
• Wacky, Wild, and Wonderful: 50 State Poems.
• Fairy Tale Garage Sale: Poems of After Ever After.
• Riddle-ku: Haiku for Very Close Reading.
• Why-ku: Poems of Wonder About the World.

Can Be Series – Millbrook Press/Lerner, 2012-15.
• A Rock Can Be…
• Water Can Be…
• A Leaf Can Be…

Bookspeak: Poems About Books. Clarion/Houghton Mifflin, 2011.

Stampede: And Other Poems about the Wild Side of School. Clarion, 2009. (Out of print.)

A+ Poetry Series – Capstone, 2008. (Series is out of print.)
• Shrinking Days, Frosty Nights: Poems about Fall.
• Seed Sower, Hat Thrower: Poems about Weather.
• Tiny Dreams, Sprouting Tall: Poems about the United States.
• And Then There Were Eight: Poems about Space.
• Flashy, Clashy, and Oh-So Splashy: Poems about Color.
• Do Buses Eat Kids? Poems about School.
• Lettuce Introduce You: Poems about Food.
• A Fuzzy-Fast Blur: Poems about Pets.
• Always Got My Feet: Poems about Transportation.
• Chatter, Sing, Roar, Buzz: Poems about the Rain Forest.


Stanley Shadow, Part-time Private Eye. Heinemann, 2014.


Alphabet Fun Series – Capstone Press.
• A Is for Arrr!: A Pirate Alphabet.
• C Is for Cake!: A Birthday Alphabet.
• J Is for Jingle Bells: A Christmas Alphabet.
• P Is for Pom Pom!: A Cheerleading Alphabet.
• S Is for Score!: A Sports Alphabet.
• Y Is for Yak: A Zoo Alphabet.
• Y Is for Yowl!: A Scary Alphabet.
• Z Is for Zoom!: A Race Car Alphabet.

Colors All Around Series – Capstone Press.
• Colors of Weather.
• Colors of the Ocean.
• Colors of Sports.
• Colors of Insects.
• Colors of Fall.

Science Songs Series – Capstone Press.
• Are You Living?: A Song About Living and Nonliving Things.
• Home on the Earth: A Song About Earth’s Layers.
• Many Creatures: A Song About Animal Classifications.
• Move It! Work It!: A Song About Simple Machines.
• I’m Exploring with My Senses: A Song About the Five Senses.
• There Goes the Water: A Song About the Water Cycle.
• From Beginning to End: A Song About Life Cycles.
• Eight Great Planets!: A Song About the Planets.

Amazing Science Series – Picture Window Books, 2008. (Series is out of print.)
• Amphibians: Water-to-Land Animals.
• Reptiles: Scaly-Skinned Animals.
• Mammals: Hairy, Milk-Making Animals.
• Grasslands: Fields of Green and Gold.
• Tundras: Frosty, Treeless Lands.
• Deserts: Thirsty Wonderlands.
• Wetlands: Soggy Habitat.
• Oceans: Underwater Worlds.
• Coral Reefs: Colorful Underwater Habitats.
• Temperate Deciduous Forests: Lands of Falling Leaves.
• Rain Forests: Gardens of Green.

Write Your Own Poetry. Capstone. (Out of print.)

Catch Your Breath: Writing Poignant Poetry. Capstone.

Writing for the Educational Market: Informational Books for Kids. Capstone.

Picture Books: The Write Way. Capstone.

Rhyming Picture Books: The Write Way. Capstone.

How to Query an Agent or Editor. Capstone.

Picture Yourself Writing Poetry: Using Photos to Inspire Writing. Capstone.

Getting Published: How To Access Editors. Capstone.

Animals All Around. Picture Window, 2006. (Series out of print.)
• Do Turtles Sleep in Treetops?: A Book About Animal Homes
• Does an Elephant Fit in Your Hand?: A Book About Animal Sizes
• Do Crocodiles Dance?: A Book About Animal Habits
• Do Pelicans Sip Nectar?: A Book About How Animals Eat
• Do Lobsters Leap Waterfalls?: A Book About Animal Migration
• Do Polar Bears Snooze in Hollow Trees?: A Book About Animal Hibernation

Whose Is It? Community Workers Series – Picture Window, 2006. (Series out of print.)
• Whose Shoes Are These? A Look at Workers’ Footwear
• Whose Gloves Are These? A Look at Gloves Workers Wear
• Whose Coat Is This? A Look at How Workers Cover Up

Fact Finders Biographies: Great African Americans. Capstone, 2006. (Series out of print.)
• Phillis Wheatley: Colonial American Poet
• Charles Drew: Pioneer in Medicine

Discovering Nature’s Laws: A Story about Isaac Newton. Lerner Press, 2004. (Out of print.)

The Great Outdoors. Capstone. (Series out of print.)
• Saltwater Fishing (2004)
• Canoeing (2002)
• Ice Fishing (2002)
• Snowmobiling (2002)

Let Freedom Ring. Capstone, 2003. (Series out of print.)
• Trail of Tears.
• Wilderness Road.

Countries and Cultures. Capstone, 2002. (Series out of print.)
• China.
• Germany.

When I was an English teacher, I felt my most important mission was to get kids excited about reading and writing, and that’s still what I focus on today. Not all kids will like to read the same books or write the same kinds of stories, articles, or poems, but I try to leave kids with the feeling that there is something just for them in the world of reading and writing. I use humor plus stories of my own experiences, along with visual aids and hands-on activities (when possible), to invite kids into that world.

I’m honored that my books have been recognized with some lovely awards, including: Minnesota Book Award; Charlotte Zolotow Highly Commended title; starred reviews in Kirkus and Publishers Weekly; Texas Library Association’s 2×2 List; Nerdy Award for Poetry; Bank Street Best Books; IRA (now ILA) Teachers’ Choice; NCTE Notables; Scholastic Book Club selection; Riverby Award for Nature Books for Young Readers; Librarians’ Choice; Eureka! Gold Medal; Honor Book – Gelett Burgess Award; and White Ravens.

I love getting out and spreading book love! I have a passion for reading and writing, and I’m grateful that I get to go out and share that passion with students, educators, and other writers. I’ve presented at more than a hundred schools, libraries, book festivals, writing conferences, and educator conferences, and my goals are always to

  • inspire people to read and write more
  • give hands-on experience, where possible
  • share practical tips that can be put into practice right away
  • empower reluctant readers and writers

Please see the menu at the top of the page to explore all my presentation info!”

My fee is $800 for a one-day author visit in the Twin Cities area. This includes four presentations, plus lunch with teachers or students. My fee for a standalone one-hour professional development session is $350. If you’d like to add a before- or after-school PD session on top of a school visit, the fee is reduced to $200.

For schools more than 50 miles away but within a three-hour drive from Maple Grove, Minnesota, schools pay travel and lodging expenses. To reduce costs for outstate Minnesota (or nearby destinations within a three-hour drive), consider contacting other schools in your area. When I do several visits in the same area, schools can split the travel costs. If I book four days’ worth of separate school visits in one area, I will cover my own travel costs.

Please contact me for out-of-state visit fees.