One way to combat future science phobia and illiteracy is to bring children closer to scientists, educators say. And because scientists often have many stories to tell, publishers have found that using them as authors of children's science books can help bring the excitement of research to youngsters with an authenticity and perspective that nonscientist-authors cannot easily convey.

The secret of good writing is for the final product to look effortless. But writing a successful book requires a great deal of planning, even if the final product will be only a few dozen, liberally illustrated pages. Here are some tips on how to write a children's science book from those who have done it.

1. Identify a topic. Start in the children's section of a library. If you hope to write yet another book on the weather, planets, dinosaurs, or warm, fuzzy creatures, decide how yours will differ. If your...

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