Jacob Berkowitz - Author

Jacob Berkowitz is a science writer who lives in Almonte, Ontario. He has written for The Globe and Mail, the Ottawa Citizen and other publications. Jurassic Poop is his first book.

Funny and informative, Jurassic Poop --- written by Jacob Berkowitz and illustrated by Steve Mack --- is flush with amazing facts, stories and activities. Kids will meet dung detectives getting to the bottom of history's hind-end mysteries. They'll find out how poop gets preserved and discover what it can tell us about dinosaurs, humans and many other animals from long ago. And kids will find out some pretty stinky facts, too. For example, did you know that the soil we grow our food in is largely made from the poo of worms and other small animals?

From coprolite crafts and feces facts to solving cases of “Who Dung It”, kids will be privy to the inside scoop on ancient poop in this unique and engaging science book.

Birthplace?
Jerusalem, Israel. My family left at the outbreak of the Six Day War in 1967.

Birthday?
October 13th, 1964.

Where do you currently live?
Almonte, Ontario, in the Ottawa Valley.

Do you have any pets?
A 15-year-old dog named Tessa.

What is your favorite book?
All of Dr. Seuss' s books. The first book I remember reading is And To Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street.

What is your favorite movie?
Brother Where Art Thou? It's written and directed by two brothers and is a modern version of an ancient Greek story. There's also great bluegrass and gospel music.

What are your hobbies?
I love cross-country skiing in winter and cycling and canoeing in the summer.

When did you start writing?
I published my first poem when I was 12.

What was your schooling or training?
My best teacher has been my dad. He loves books and talks about them all the time.

How did you get involved in children's books?
I had the idea for a book about dinosaurs and fossil poop and I thought, "Kids will love this."

What is your favorite thing about writing books for children?
You're encouraged to get really excited about what you do and have fun doing it.

How do you create your stories?
I go for a walk, let my mind wander, jot down my ideas, have a cappuccino and a couple of cookies, sit down at my computer and let the story flow out of my fingers.

Do you have any special secrets or insights about one of your books or characters?
The world is full of people who are totally absorbed by subjects that most of us have never heard about.

Do you have any tips for young creators?
Listen to your inner voices about what you want to do, be patient, and just keep going with your creative ideas!

What is your favorite childhood memory?
Visiting my maternal grandparents in the little village of Roslev, Denmark, and working with my grandfather in his fabric store.

When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A journalist.

Where do you currently work?
In my home office in our 150-year-old home. I have a window looking out at a wonderful old barn in our backyard.

What is the weirdest or most interesting job you have ever had?
I used to take inner-city kids on wilderness canoe trips. Many of the kids had never been in a canoe or into the woods before. Sometimes they were really scared and angry at first (some didn't want to go on the trip). But then around the campfire they told amazing stories about their lives. By the end of the week-long trip we were usually sad to say good-bye to one another.

Jurassic Poop

2008 - Silver Birch Award, Ontario Library Association, Short-listed
2007 - Diamond Willow Award, Saskatchewan Young Readers' Choice, Short-listed
2007 - Information Book Award, Children's Literature Roundtables of Canada, Short-listed
2007 - Science Writing Award, American Institute of Physics, Winner
2006 - Best Bets - Top 10 Canadian Children's Books, Ontario Library Association, Short-listed

Non-fiction