One African folktale tells how Leopard got his spots. According to the tale, Leopard and some other animals had a funeral march for their friend Ant. As the animals walked, Leopard's stomach rumbled. He was hungry!
As the animals passed a farm, Leopard noticed some baskets filled with fresh eggs. He tossed one egg after another into his mouth. Soon he had eaten an entire basket! Satisfied, he returned to the other animals.
When the farmer saw the empty basket, he chased after the animals. "Who stole my eggs?" he asked. All of the animals denied it. Then the farmer had an idea. He asked all the animals to jump over a bonfire. He said the animal who had eaten the eggs would fall in. One by one, the creatures leaped over the flames. When it was Leopard's turn, he took a deep breath, jumped, and landed in the fire. "Aha!" said the farmer. "It was you!" Leopard climbed out of the fire, but his coat was burned in spots as a reminder of his greed.
To author Joanna Cole, writing about science is a dream come true. When Cole was growing up in New Jersey, she explored nature. She grew gardens and caught bugs in her yard.
When Cole grew up, she became a teacher. One day, she saw an article about cockroaches. She learned that these bugs are older than dinosaurs. She thought kids would like to learn about roaches, too. She decided to write a book about them. Later, Cole wrote books about fish, fleas, frogs, dogs, and more. Of course, some of Cole's most famous books are the "Magic School Bus" science stories.
No matter what she is writing about, Cole says that two things are important to her. One is research. Cole reads many books and talks to experts to maker sure her facts are correct. The second thing is a sense of humor. She says even science should be funny!