Salamander Sky

Winner of the 2019 Riverby Award!
The John J. Burroughs Riverby Award has been given annually since 1988 to a selection of exceptional natural history books for young readers that present perceptive and artistic accounts of direct experiences in the world of nature, demonstrating a respect for nature, accuracy of information, and quality of prose and illustrations.

Short-Listed for the 2019 Green Earth Book Award!

Every spring in the eastern region of the United States, warmer nights with steady rain bring the migration of thousands of spotted salamanders to ponds and pools, often across busy roads. These crossings are magical, and secretive—most people don’t even know they happen. Salamander Sky features a mother and daughter who go out on a rainy night to help the salamanders cross the road safely. This dramatic, full-color, picture book introduces readers to the elusive spotted salamander and the perilous nighttime journey they take each spring. Amphibians worldwide desperately need protection. This book is a valuable tool for getting children engaged in conservation.

The illustrator created a lovely, short, book trailer. . .

Salamander Sky – Book Trailer from Meg Sodano on Vimeo.

For Educators/Parents/Guardians/Librarians/Booksellers, Salamander Sky:

  • targets many of the Next Generation Science Standards for elementary school students, including life cycles, wetland habitats, diversity, adaptations and human impact
  • communicates a strong conservation message
  • geared toward preschool through elementary school aged students
  • models first hand exploration and investigation in nature
  • addresses human impact on the environment and encourages active participation in solutions
  • provides a resource for science teachers, environmental educators and parents to introduce inquiry to students
  • inspires engagement and curiosity
  • focuses on a vulnerable and often unnoticed species of amphibians that inhabits much of the Eastern United States
  • embraces diversity and promotes women in science

“I wanted to illustrate that everyone can do something important to help these fragile and beautiful creatures. We all have a part to play in taking care of the earth and all of its diverse inhabitants.” —Katy Farber, author

Advance Praise
​”​Told in a soft spoken, poetic voice akin to that of Jane Yolen’s Owl Moon, Salamander Sky brings wonder and anticipation in droves. Farber’s text has all the great lean-in qualities of a storied secret passed among friends in the lunch room, and Sodano’s illustrations lead readers by mere flashlight and anticipation to a place of fascination. Salamander Sky has within its pages the power to ignite curiosity in the unexplored backyard while at the same time respecting and not disrupting nature’s hand in the survival of a species. And what could be better than that?​”​ —Matthew C. Winner | Co-Founder​, All the Wonders

and this just in from KIRKUS: “. . . a quiet, patient story, beautifully reflected in Sodano’s paintings, which are done with colored inks, crayon, water-soluble pencils, and digital techniques. These show a black-haired, olive-skinned child and her diverse classmates, salamanders at varying life stages, and the early-spring woodland world near her home. There’s a map showing that spotted salamanders (the species depicted) range broadly down the East Coast and into the Midwest. These excellent illustrations help bring the girl’s expedition to life and add information, too. A lovely vehicle for sharing nature with children.

From Foreword Reviews: “The secret life of the spotted salamander unfolds as April anticipates her special role in their yearly migration from underground habitats beneath the forest floor to nearby ponds and wetlands. Hushed and reverent with flashlights and raincoats, mother and daughter venture out at night to carefully help the slowly creeping travelers safely across the roadway. Share in their joy, found through the care and conservation of the shrinking salamander populations of eastern North America.”

Illustrations Samples © Meg Sodano


About the Author: Katy Farber is a professional development coordinator, author, and blogger from Vermont. She writes about education, parenting, the environment and sustainability for various websites and publications. Her middle grade novel, The Order of the Trees (Green Writers Press 2015), was an Honor Book in the Nature Generation’s Green Earth Book Awards.


About the Illustrator: Meg Sodano studied Biology and Animal Science at the University of Vermont and received her training in natural science illustration at Rhode Island School of Design. Some of her other illustrations are part of interpretive exhibits at Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut, Edmund Niles Huyck Preserve in New York State, Franklin Park Children’s Zoo in Boston, and Queens Botanical Garden in New York.


32 pages • 8  x 10 oblong, casebound • $17.95
ISBN: 978-0-9990766-4-4
Publication date: March 2, 2018 
Distributor: Midpoint Trade Books
Rights sold: None
Rights contact: Dede Cummings, Green Writers Press • 802-380-1121

Review copies available upon request. Catalog link from distributor.

Available wherever books are sold. Coming in Spring 2018 in time for Salamander Crossing!