Another year gone already?

Well, you’ve done it again. Spent another year reading Caterpickles, and I am profoundly grateful for it.

I know what I was curious about this year, so I thought it would be more interesting to spend some time today seeing what you were curious about this year.

Here are the top 10 posts from 2017: 

10. “How can you tell the difference between a white weasel and an ermine?”

9. “Why do pale people get more moles? (Caterpickles consults the dermatologist)”

8. “Why is a watermelon red inside?”

7. “How does a storm glass work? Part One: The Pondering”

6. “What did people think caused earthquakes in the olden days? Part Two”

5. “Why do goats have four stomachs?”

4. “How do we reset the storm glass?”

3. “When is Santa’s birthday?”

2. “Why does it rain fish in Honduras every year?”

1. “How long can jellyfish sting after they are dead?”

Fun fact: That jellyfish entry is also the most popular Caterpickles post of all-time.

Most popular post categories:

  • Science
  • Nature
  • Can we do that sometime?
  • Ask the iPhone
  • Santa Claus

Most popular Wordless Wednesday post: 


(Photo: Shala Howell)


Most popular book review:  

It’s really hard to parse which “What’s The Ten-Year-Old reading this week?” post was the most popular, since for the most part, the book reviews on Friday all fit on the home page and very few people click through to read them on their own page. But here’s one that in hindsight seems particularly significant:

(Hint: One of the books mentioned inspired The Ten-Year-Old’s Halloween costume.)

So, what did I learn from this? 

You really like the questions about science and nature, so I’ll write more of those sorts of posts in 2018. You also really seemed to enjoy the experiments, so we’ll do another experiment or two. Oh, and it looks like I need get an earlier start on the Santa questions next year. You started searching for those answers immediately after Thanksgiving.

Finally, while it’s hard to pinpoint a particularly popular book review, Fridays in general are really popular days. Apparently you like keeping tabs on The Ten-Year-Old’s reading habits, so I’ll keep doing the Friday book round-ups in 2018.

Now it’s your turn. What would you like to see more of on the blog next year?

Related Links:


About Shala Howell

I spent two decades helping companies like Bell Labs, Juniper Networks, and a genetic testing company that was later acquired by CVS translate some of the world’s most complicated concepts into actionable, understandable English. Now I'm working on a much harder problem -- fostering children’s curiosity and engagement in the scientific, artistic, and linguistic world that surrounds them. The first book in my Caterpickles Parenting Series, What’s That, Mom?, focuses on how to use public art to nurture children’s curiosity in the world around them. My next book will focus on science, and how parents without a science degree can answer their curious child's questions without enrolling in a college level refresher course. In the meantime, you can find me blogging about life with a very curious Eleven-Year-Old at, chatting about books and the writing life at, and tweeting about books, writing, science, & things that make me smile at @shalahowell.
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One Response to Another year gone already?

  1. rayworth1973 says:

    I’m reading an icky bug book about jellyfish right now called Stingers. Funny you mention jellyfish. I got stung by one off Avila Beach back in the early 60’s. It was quite unpleasant!


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