Buddding Biologist Media
For all media inquiries please contact us at: PR@buddingbiologist.com

Latest Press Release
Davis area team creates kids science game app

Lizard Island: Observation wins NSF funding. Launches on iTunes May 12.

WOODLAND, Calif. (May 12, 2014) - Mother created - science approved!

The super smart and seriously fun team at Budding Biologist have done it again. They’ve made science fun!

Their debut children’s game app, Lizard Island: Observation, premiers May12, 2014 on iTunes.

Aimed squarely at the K-5 set, the game unabashedly taps our inner science geek by imaginatively whisking us off to a series of micro islands in the Bahamas where we immediately take part in a lizard “tag and release” operation. Along the way we learn about other exotic plant and animal life via a handy Field Journal pop up. So intent are we on our biological quest that we don’t realize just how much science we’re absorbing!

And that’s exactly how Kristine Callis-Duehl of Woodland, Calif. prefers it.

“When you have that emotional connection of science being fun, you retain the information better,” says Callis-Duehl, a biologist and mother of two boys. The author of two Budding Biologist books and the company’s CEO and Head of Research and Development, Callis-Duehl points out that the purpose of the game app is broader than a single lesson.

“It’s not that we want kids to learn a concept, as much as how to think like a scientist: How to study, how to evaluate. That thinking process will provide them with advantages no matter what they do in life.”

Budding Biologists’s philosophy of “opening young minds to science” and the innovative methods it uses to do just that recently garnered the fast-rising company a National Science Foundation Small Business Research Innovation Phase I grant to create the game app.

The game was created through a collaboration with scientists at the University of California, Davis who have been studying the ecology of a series of micro islands in the Bahamas. Their data was used to make Lizard Island: Observation as scientifically accurate as possible. The game is aligned with Common Core math standards and Next Generation Science Standards, making it suitable for home and school use.

About Budding Biologist
Budding Biologist focuses on creating playful, yet scientifically accurate materials for young children. The company was founded in 2012 by moms, Callis-Duehl and Katy Castronovo, a professional artist living in Iowa City, Iowa who is now Head of Art and Design for the company.

The two met at a birth center while they were both pregnant with their first babies. As they ventured into parenthood, they both became extremely disappointed by the biological inaccuracies of children’s books and they decided to do something about it. In 2012 Callis-Duehl wrote and Castronovo illustrated their first book in the Budding Biologist series, Am I an Insect? It quickly sold out its initial offerings on Amazon.com and was followed in 2013 by Where Do I Live? (Both available at www.buddingbiologist.com and www.Amazon.com)

The two moms were later joined by Karen Boley, a mother and former teacher, and administrator who currently lives in Vancouver, British Columbia and is now Chief Editor and Head of Education Development for Budding Biologist. The independently published series has since been picked up for national distribution and will soon appear at public libraries and bookstores across the country. A third book, Am I a Mammal? will be released this fall.

Interview inquiries and requests to download a free version of the Lizard Island: Observation game app for review, can be made to PR@buddingbiologist.com.

Tech Faster (Lizard Island: Observation)

Macaronikid (Am I an Insect?)

WryHeat (Am I an Insect?)

12/3/2012 Press Release - Am I an Insect?

The Tuscan Citizen

This book is the first in a planned series of children’s books intended to promote accurate science. This short, well-illustrated, simply-written book is appropriate for pre-school and grammar school children. [...]

Skepticality Podcast

Have you ever noticed how many small and simple errors end up on the images portrayed on toys, clothing, and other consumer items which are aimed at children? Kristine Callis noticed many of them after having her first child, all dealing with, quite simple, scientific facts which display a massive diversion from reality and scientific fact. [...]

Dominique's Desk

I sat down and read this book to my two year old and have my 6 yr old read teh book to me. Both of them loved the graphics and found it really enjoyable. {...}

Iowa City Press-Citizen

A group of mothers is working to create scientifically accurate children's books for their children and kids across the country. [...]


Duehl spent many months researching and testing the right words to explain complex ideas, such as the characteristics that define an insect. She read different versions of the book to groups of children to find out which words are too complex and which phrases get them excited about science. [...]

Iowa Public Radio - Talk of Iowa

Have you ever been snuggled up with a kid, reading a cute book and run across a glaring factual error? It was just that experience that inspired two moms to create scientifically accurate books for kids. Charity Nebbe talks with the women behind the “Budding Biologist” series, and about fact checking books for kids.

Crazed Mind - Blog

I love that it is an engaging book that will help the kiddos learn fun facts of insects. I am a very straight forward thinker Am I an Insect? is written just like that. Going from fact to fact in a logical procession.

Mother Daughter & Son Book Reviews

By focusing on the few key characteristics of an insect (i.e., number of legs, exoskeletons, three-part body, number of wings) and by providing examples of insects and non-insects who either have or don’t have the right combination of these characteristics, the book has just the right amount of information for a young child to digest. The illustrations accompanying the information are bright and colourful and are perfectly simple. [..]

San Francisco Book Review

I learned a lot from this book. I think kids that like to learn new things from books would enjoy this book. This book would be interesting for kids my age (5) and older. [...]

The Davis Enterprise

She’s already heard from teachers around the country who really appreciate the book, including how early readers are able to read most of the words while still being a little challenged by the scientific terms included. Their website even includes lesson plans to go with the book. [...]