I was born in Brazil, and immigrated at the age of seven, taking to books in English almost immediately. I taught English and Creative Writing during my entire working life, most of that at Miami Dade College.
I am a children's book writer with a focus on nonfiction. Most of my publications involve wildlife. I am also a lover of travel, music, birding, and nature, but most of all, children.
I have two children I adore, a precious grandson, still living, one living in my heart, and a husband who takes photographs of all the animals we see.
I especially love children's nonfiction and metafiction picture books.
My most recent children's books are The Nutty Little Vulture (2018), Anole Invasion (2018), and Amazing, Misunderstood Bats (2019).
Older books still in print: Those Lively Lizards, Those Colossal Cats, and Those Voracious Vultures.
A full list of my writing can be found by clicking "Publications" on the upper right corner of this website.
Both my environmentally-focused books, The Nutty Little Vulture and Anole Invasion have been selected as 2018 Nautilus Award Silver Medal Winners. Both are illustrated by my brother Mauro Magellan. Nautilus is a respected award with the motto "Better Books for a Better World."
Scroll down to "Contact Me" if you're interested in entering a lottery to win one of my books.
Presentations: A large and engaged audience attended the presentation of ANOLE INVASION. Miami Dade Public Libraries at the Pinecrest Branch, January 15, 2019. More to come.
Author reading The Nutty Little Vulture to the younger set for the Reading Circle at the Pinecrest Books and Books, 11297 South Dixie Hwy, Saturday, April 13, 2019
It is exciting when a non-profit group; the Garden Club of St. Augustine, is able to work with such a talented writer and illustrator to achieve such a wonderful product. We hope the book will extend out to many other groups around the state and beyond who want to educate our youth about the importance of our environment and the animals and creatures who inhabit our planet...
your book could be used to stimulate interest as well as conservation for some of our most important creatures; our pollinators!
--Carolyn Smith, President of the Las Adelfas Garden Circle in St. Augustine, April 19, 2019
Children's author, Marta Magellan, fascinated Pinecrest Library patrons while discussing her latest book, Anole Invasion. She informed the group about local invasive lizards and how to help the disappearing Anole creatures. Ms. Magellan had her huge crowd intrigued and eager to participate; her very informative presentation was a grand success!
--Jennifer Hernandez, Pinecrest Branch Miami-Dade Public Library, March, 2019.
The children were listening, enthusiastic, and engaged the whole time. I love your book, ANOLE INVASION and will be sharing it with some nature lovers I know!"
-- Lori Dubbin, Teacher/Author, 2019
You were such a dynamic part of our Nature Detective Series in Ponte Vedra ... You have such knowledge of the subject and have such a flair for presentation...it is quite a memory." -Cathy Snyder Nature Detective Series Director, 2016
What an amazing author visit, Marta! Thank you so much for traveling up to us. The families were thrilled! Thank you again for all you did for us – we’re so glad so many came and had a great time! I hope we can work with you again in the future. -- Anne Crawford, Youth Services Coordinator for St. Johns County Public Library System, August 15, 2013
I received the copy of your book, Amazing, Misunderstood Bats...[T]he photos look great in print. Your book will help a new generation of youngsters to learn all the ways bats are helpful, not scary. I look forward to sharing it!
--Merlin Tuttle, Founder and Executive Director, Merlin Tuttle Bat Conservation, May 30, 2019
Published May, 2019, Amazing, Misunderstood Bats, nonfiction for grades 3-5. My latest book on this very special mammal will be presented in July at the Nature Detectives workshop in St. Augustine, Florida.
April Reading Circle featured a reading of my book, THE NUTTY LITTLE VULTURE for the younger set at the Pinecrest Books and Books, April 13, 2019.
Presently under contract for a metafiction book on the very damaging python invasion in the Everglades, so far titled PYTHON CATCHERS SAVING THE EVERGLADES. Contract is with Rowman and Littlefield, Pineapple Press imprint.
Family Magazine Review: Animals are Amazing: Little Vulture’s mom offers to teach him how to get his own food. But he’s already off, finding it for himself. Still learning to fly, he plops on Bald Vulture’s dinner of rotten meat, and after trying it, decides it’s not for him. He doesn’t like the bones that are Bearded Vulture’s dinner either. When he accidentally opens the rotten egg by landing on it, Egyptian vulture thanks him. But after tasting, Little Vulture is again not interested. Each time the vultures remind him that if they didn’t eat what Little Vulture thinks is yukky – “who would?” Their eating habits help “to keep things neat.” The importance of what vultures contribute by eating carrion is emphasized by the repetitive comments in large easy to read text, following each of Little Vulture’s food inspections. Expressive illustrations draw readers into the story. The sister/brother author/illustrator team have combined their talents to share this engaging, environmentally thoughtful picture book. Back matter includes facts about vultures, a glossary, and references. -- Maribeth Shank, Family Magazine
Marta Magellan’s charming, intelligently written book THE NUTTY LITTLE VULTURE, beautifully illustrated by Mauro Magellan, takes on the symbiotic cycle of life that keeps the earth working by offering kids a detailed understanding how Mother Nature feeds, cleans and replenishes itself by practicing NO WASTE.
The little palm-nut vulture learns quickly how bald headed vultures eat newly killed carrion, how bearded vultures eat carcass’ bones, how Egyptian vultures eat their eggs that never hatched. She discovers that she is a palm-nut vulture -- the only vulture that eats nuts and fruits and small fish. She learns that palm-nut vultures hang upside down eating palm nuts that they hold with their feet!
Who knew there was such variety and specificity to the vulture species?! And the bottom line is, all these vultures together work hard to keep our planet clean—just as all other species do their jobs too. Everyone gets fed and everyone has their specific purpose.
That’s what we all need to do. Great message! If the family of vultures can do their work for Zero Waste, so can our family of humans.
It’s a short book with a brilliant educational and social message, perfectly illustrated to attract and keep total attention and fascination on message.
I love this book for adults and kids of all ages.
Micaela Amateau Amato
Illustrator ZAZU DREAMS Between the Scarab and the Dung Beetle, A Cautionary Fable for the Anthropocene Era, by Cara Judea ALhadeff
I enjoy writing picture books for all ages, early readers, and especially nonfiction.
Anole lizards from other lands are taking the territories that once belonged to the native Carolina (or green) anole. Is it possible to stop the invasion? This is nonfiction about the important topic of invasive lizards for children 6-12. Beautiful illustrations by Mauro Magellan
It's time for Little Vulture to start finding his own meals. But when he ventures out on his own, he discovers that none of the food the other vultures are sharing with him is tasty. On his journey, he discovers that some vultures are vegetarians -- which seems just a little bit nutty to him, too!
Twenty questions about lizards answered with pictures and cartoons. Activities include a lizard crossword puzzle and a lizard puppet that sticks out his dewlap. What's a dewlap? You'll find out!
In memory of my beloved grandson, who died two weeks after his first birthday, a scholarship fund has been established in his name for students working toward a BS in Early Childhood Education. Please click the Donate button if you'd like to contribute to the fund or call the Miami Dade Foundation care of Ana Martinez 786-395-0033.
If you are a Miami Dade College student, who is majoring in Early Childhood Education, and interested in the scholarship, contact Dr. Susan Neimand in the School of Education: firstname.lastname@example.org.