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Speaking Engagements


What Is It? Birds cover
About the What Is It? Series

What Is It? books contain equal measures of knock-your-socks-off gorgeous paintings, cool photographs, amazing sounds, flaps to open, and all kinds of facts about these animals that you probably didn't know before.

Parents: You will find this book is a great tool to get your kids reading. Children will be captivated by the images and sounds. Your young readers will be engaged in guessing the identity of each bird. Activating the sounds and lifting the flaps will spark their imagination and show them different ways of looking at the world. They will want to read and understand every word.

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Coming next:
What Is It? SafariWhat Is It? Safari

What Is It? Pets
What Is It Pets

The seed of the book series What Is It? was a lucky accident. Artist Bob Metropulos was sitting at his computer gathering reference material to paint a loon piece, while running through all his photographs. He had to leave his desk briefly to help a customer in his gallery and when he returned to his research material, he found a photograph that was focused on the eyes of a loon. He almost cleared the picture off of his computer, but noticed that it had an interesting composition.

Bob is traditionally a wildlife artist but has a contemporary background. He prepared a 24 x 30 canvas and painted his perspective of that loon photograph and brought the new original painting to the gallery. That day a customer came in and bought it... to his surprise. He ran a limited edition of canvas prints. That summer, the kids that came through the gallery would run up to the piece and ask their parents, "What is it?" The parents would answer... "it's a snake," "it's a monster," "it's a whale," "it's a peacock," when in fact it was the close-up of a loon's face.

Bob would bring the photograph out and draw a square around the area of the photo that he had painted to show how he came up with this painting and this perspective. Growing up with dyslexia, Bob has had to work extra hard to keep his writing skills sharp. He has been writing poetry and decided to come up with riddles for each image as clues to what the image was. Bob had always hoped to write a children's book to inspire children to express themselves through art and writing.

Children will be captivated by the sights and sounds found within the pages of What Is It? while parents will find it to be an excellent tool for teaching their youngsters about the natural world of birds. Children are prompted to express themselves artistically by trying their hand at drawing various birds, simultaneously nurturing their artistic abilities and strengthening their knowledge and respect of the natural world around them.

Bob created this book series to use wildlife and animals as an example in how kids should lead their lives. Rather than lecturing or telling them... through etiquette, grammar, and grooming/manners, also to get kids to look at the details of life around them and express themselves with how they see the world and interact in the world. Bob believes that our purpose is to lead by example and help other people. He feels that, having dyslexia, if he can produce a book, anybody can and he hopes that this book series will encourage children everywhere to explore and appreciate the world around them using their imaginations.