Ray Ann Havasy, executive director of the Center for Science...

Ray Ann Havasy, executive director of the Center for Science Teaching & Learning in Rockville Centre, displays the center's new series of books about animals. Credit: CSTL

A new series of books featuring animals has been launched by Rockville Centre’s Center for Science Teaching & Learning, with each of the first two books featuring fun trivia facts about 12 different animals.

The books are titled "Get to Know Animals of the Forest" and "Get to Know Animals of the Jungle." The former includes a rabbit, an owl and a hummingbird; the latter’s collection includes a viper and a frog. Each colorful painting of the animal is accompanied by facts such as where the animal lives and its diet. The museum has two more books in the works — "Get to Know Animals of the Ocean," including a walrus, jellyfish and sea otters, and "Get to Know Animals of the Desert," says Ray Ann Havasy, center director.

"The idea for these books came from the questions we were asked by parents and children about animals in our exhibits," Havasy says. "Lots of people want to know how we got our animals and the story behind the animals. Families would come in and I would ask them, ‘Do you know what a group of hummingbirds is called?’ It’s called a charm. They didn’t know a group of owls is called a parliament. Kids love that."

Because the information seemed to be so entertaining, the center decided to create the books that would include such fun trivia, Havasy says. "This is not a story that I’ve created; this is factual information," Havasy says of the books that she and her staff put together.

Illustrations are by artist Ellen Valentino, who has also painted murals at the center’s dinosaur exhibit. They are primarily watercolors with some pencil drawings, Havasy says.

Softcover books can be purchased at the center’s gift shop for $7.99 each; hardcovers can be purchased for $15.99 at Amazon.com. Proceeds from the books will help support the center’s programs. For more information, call 516-764-0045 or visit cstl.org.