Author Archives: Shala Howell

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, Did Dinosaurs Have Belly Buttons?, is currently planned for release in 2018. In the meantime, you can find me blogging about life with a very curious Ten-Year-Old at, chatting about books and the writing life at, and tweeting about books, writing, science, & things that make me smile at @shalahowell.

What’s The Ten-Year-Old reading this week?

Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funke The wonderful thing about moving is that unpacking the books slowly gives books that were overlooked at the previous home a second chance at capturing The Ten-Year-Old’s imagination. I had first purchased Dragon Rider for … Continue reading

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Wordless Wednesday

One of my neighbors has the most marvelous rose garden. It reminds me of the rose bushes my mother used to grow behind our house in Dallas. Related Links:  More Wordless Wednesday on Caterpickles Remaining Box Count: Downstairs: 41 Upstairs: … Continue reading

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“Is there an official landing pad for UFOs?”

Stopping at the Bonneville salt flats on our road trip to California naturally got The Ten-Year-Old thinking about alien planets and the beings that travel away from them. “Mommyo,” she asked when we were back on the road. “Is there an … Continue reading

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Test post: Google+ & WordPress in a spat

Once upon a time, when I posted something on Caterpickles, it appeared automatically on my Google+ page as well, properly marked for public consumption. This morning, I noticed that my Caterpickles posts were all still showing up on Google+, but … Continue reading

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What’s The Ten-Year-Old reading this week?

Our books are mostly still packed up in boxes. Fortunately, The Ten-Year-Old’s new fifth grade teacher keeps an ample supply in her classroom, most of which are new to The Ten-Year-Old. Even better, when the kids at lunch aren’t gossiping … Continue reading

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We have landed!

After a week of driving and a couple of weeks of furious unpacking, Caterpickles Central (California edition) is finally in a state to allow for regular blog updates. We saw many amazing things on our road trip, but my personal … Continue reading

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Hey, my book’s out!

We interrupt our move to California to let you know that the first installment in the Caterpickles Parenting Series is finally available. What’s That, Mom? uses the proven case-study format to help parents get their children outside and asking questions that … Continue reading

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Wordless Wednesday: Little Dude

Related Links:  The Ten-Year-Old catches the world’s smallest lizard (Caterpickles)

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Sky Watch: Total Solar Eclipse August 21

Solar eclipse headed our way in two days. Have you made your solar eclipse viewing kit yet? Continue reading

Posted in Experiments, Nature, Out and About, Science | Tagged | 1 Comment

Caterpickles Central Update: Our time in Chicago is winding down

Caterpickles Central is packing up shop and heading west again. This time to Northern California. Moving day is in mid-September. Posting will be spotty over the next month or so, as we shut down the Chicago version of Caterpickles Central … Continue reading

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