1. Passive Fear: Alternative to Fight or Flight--When Frightened Animals Hide, 112 pages, ISBN-10: 0-595-67665-0. This book is available in hardcover for $26.00 or paperback for $16.00 and was published in 2006 by iUniverse. It can be purchased at bookstores or online at Amazon.com.
This was my first book and my daughter helped with the final proof reading and found the publisher. I have put heart rate transmitters on more species of animals than anyone in the world. This non-fiction book provides insight into how the work of science is accomplished and includes some of my own personal experiences from over 20 years of studying the heart rate response of wild animals to fear. Although it is about science, it is not a technical book. The actual research data has been published in scientific journals. This book provides insight into what motivates a field zoologist to wade waist deep in a swamp late at night with venomous snakes to catch alligators. It provides first-hand knowledge into how scientific research is conducted and includes the excitement as well as some of the frustrations and failures. I strongly contend zoologists are born, not made. I know for I was one of them.
2. Al-the-Gator and Freddy Frog, 48 pages. The book was published in 2007 by 4RV Publishing LLC and is available online or in bookstores for $24.00. ISBN-10: 0-9797513-0-6.
This is the first of a series of children’s books I have written about an alligator and his friends in south Texas. That is where I caught, studied and released over 200 alligators up to 750 pounds. Yes, I still have all my important body parts. It is unusual for the author of children’s book to also be a scientist that has studied the animals about which he or she writes, but I have done so. Unfortunately, I used the pen name of “Doc Gator.” That was a mistake and the rest of the children’s books will have my actual name. I wrote the original story as a Christmas present for my grandson Brent, when he was little and the book is dedicated to him. I was proud of him as a toad-loving boy and I am proud of him today as a Marine sniper.
It seems most children like dinosaurs and crocodiles. This book is an attempt to appeal to children and share my love of science. Each of my children’s books has a “Learn More” section with questions to help children think about and enjoy science. Although the book is filled with beautiful and somewhat whimsical color drawings of alligators in their natural habitat, I must confess I was a bit disappointed when I first saw the book. I wanted the pictures to be scratch ‘n sniff. Yes, as those who know me agree, I am indeed twisted, but I also have a lot more fun than “normal” people. Life is precious and we should enjoy living…and I do.
3. Battleground University, $14.00, 134 pages. ISBN: 978-1-60462-508-0. The book was published in 2008 by Tate Publishing and is available at at bookstores and online at Amazon.com.
This book by E. Norbert Smith, Ph.D. and Johanna Jones, M. A. was an attempt to write a modern version of the classic C. S. Lewis Screwtape Letters. That original book about a demon attempting to influence a person continues to sell, but was dated as it was written during the Second World War. I felt comfortable writing about contemporary science issues, but wanted to address the dark side of the feminist movement. As a man, it seemed unwise for me to go there. I found a professor online who teaches at a major university in California and she likes C. S. Lewis as much as I did. She wrote every other chapter in the book and did an outstanding job. She so feared losing her job if her professors found out she had written an overtly Christian book that she opted to use a pen name. This is sad, but a revealing commentary about today’s increasingly anti-Christian culture. I certainly understand as I was denied tenure for doubting evolution and became a truck driver. As a nation, we have strayed far from our Christian roots. I fear with the current history revisionists, future children will no longer be taught our true heritage and the Christian values so important to our country’s founding fathers.
4. Al-the-Gator and Tommy Turtle. $14.00, 38 pages. ISBN: 1448664276. This book was self-published in 2009 and is available at bookstores and online.
This is my second children’s book and is beautifully illustrated by Shanna Covington. The front and back covers as well as many of the pictures inside the book are truly breathtaking and represent an unlikely marriage between my focus on scientific details and the artist’s love for the whimsical. Each book in the series introduces a new character, but also involves those animals in previous books. This book is the first to have a companion coloring book to provide an additional activity and opportunity for children to learn more about the creatures in the story. Children seem to LOVE both books. As in Al-the-Gator and Freddy Frog, the book contains some interesting scientific information in an attempt to help children develop a deep and abiding love science. This book was dedicated to Sean Todd the son of my dear friends Sean and Julie Williams. He is not a herpetologist yet, but I am working on converting him. This and subsequent children’s books include Bible verses and a clearly stated moral lesson based on the story. Children in our public schools are taught only godless evolution from kindergarten through college and need to be reminded that, “In the beginning God…” It is my hope this series of books for kids will help bridge that ever widening gap. It is hoped these books will be in church libraries all over the country.
5. Al-the-Gator and Tommy Turtle Coloring Book. $6.00, 38 pages, ISBN 14486666217. The book was self-published in 2009 and is available at bookstores and online. It is intended to be a companion for the previous story book: Al-the-Gator and Tommy Turtle.
This is the third in my series of children’s books and is the first activity and coloring book. Again, it is beautifully illustrated by Shanna Covington. Most of the pictures are taken from the previously mentioned story book with a few added exercises for children. Not only do children seem to enjoy the coloring book, but they will learn more by thinking about each drawing as they bring it to life by coloring it. We all learn by repetition and thinking about the context of the picture in the story helps the child to learn and retain the scientific material as well as the important moral lesson. Some of the questions challenge children to apply what they have just learned from the story book. It is hoped the books will make learning fun. Perhaps some will become future zoologists.
The first book I remember my mother reading to me was Cubby in Wonderland by Frances Joyce Fransworth. It is still available and is about a young bear and his mother exploring Yellowstone National Park. It instilled in me an early interest for all of Creation. I was also deeply influenced by the Golden Nature books at an early age. I hope these books will do the same for the next generation of biologists.
6. Al-the-Gator and Annie Anhinga. $12.00, 100 pages, ISBN 1449535887. Self-published in 2009 and is available at bookstores and online.
This is my sixth book and fourth children’s book. It is dedicated to Braylee the daughter of two dear church friends Shawn and Duaina. Like the previous two children’s books it was beautifully illustrated by Shanna Covington. The front and back covers are in color, but in order to keep the price of the book more affordable the illustrations inside the book are black and white. To farther reduce costs the story book and coloring book are combined into one larger book.
The new character in this book is the beautiful Anhinga. Although most people are not familiar with the Anhinga, it was a common bird of the wetlands where I studied alligators. Unlike most water birds, it lacks an oil gland and its feathers become saturated as it swims in the water searching for food. Like other water birds, it eats mostly fish. Local people often call it the “snake bird” because all that is seen is its long snake-like neck moving back and forth in the water. It must stop swimming frequently in order to dry its outstretched wings in a nearby tree. That unmistakable sight was forever burned into my memory from my years studying alligators in South Texas. It is an important and unusual part of the wetland community where Al-the-Gator and his friend live.
7. Al-the-Gator and Honey Bunny, $21.00, 98 pages, ISBN 1450553257. This book was self-published in 2009 and is available at bookstores and online at Amazon.com.
This is my seventh book and fifth children’s book. I have long felt the illustrations are more important for children than the story. In view of that, most of the illustrations are again in color even though it costs a bit more. This book was dedicated to Savannah the daughter of my dear friends Sean and Julie Williams. She is not yet a herpetologist, but I am working on converting her as well and have given her an endless variety of toy reptiles and amphibians. She sleeps each night with a huge cuddly stuff Tyrannosaur. Again the beautiful drawings are by Shanna Covington.
The new character in this book is a swamp rabbit. It is most unusual for the author of children’s books to also be a respected scientist that has studied the animals about which he or she writes…but I have. I studied them for five years both in the laboratory and free ranging outdoors. They are excellent swimmers and divers and abound where alligators live. Like other diving animals their heart rate slows when forcefully submerged underwater. I also trained them to dive underwater for a carrot and when they did so, there was no slowing of their heart. What had previously been described as a diving response was instead a response to fear. Because of my study hundreds of previous studies had to be repeated under natural conditions. Swamp rabbits have been very good to me.
8. Creation or Evolution? Consider the evidence before deciding. $23.95, 310 pages, ISBN-13: 978-1456468279. Self-published in 2010 and is available at bookstores and online at Amazon.com.
This book and is my opus magnum, my life’s work and ministry. I spent over 25 years working on it. Central to the book are over 1,500 Bible verses dealing with God as Creator and Sustainer. Anything that appears in scripture is important. Why do you think there are so many passages dealing with Creation? There at least two obvious reasons. God in His infinite wisdom knew the miracle of Creation would be doubted in these last days. Peter not only predicted this, but gave the reason as “willful ignorance.” (2 Pet 3:5, KJV). There is another even more important reason. For many years I thought the purpose of all those passages was to give us insight into how God created. I was wrong. The reason is simple. We have all those passages so that as we see the beauty and complexity of all living things we will lift our hearts and hands in honor of Him who made it all. The complexity we now see inside each living cell shouts of its Creator as did the heavens of old. The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. (Ps 19:1-3, NIV) Those rejecting the power and glory of the Creator of all things are without excuse. Indeed as Scripture clearly declares: All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made (John 1:3, KJV).
9. Gator Tales: a man and his dog. $19.00, 108 pages, ISBN 1456582666. It was self-published in 2011 and available at bookstores and online.
This is unlike any of my other books and is a book about my little dog, Gator. My daughter got him for me when I was driving 18-wheelers so he grew up in a big rig. He loves to ride in the car anytime and anywhere. He has been my constant friend for over a decade and is almost always within arm’s reach. In many ways he has made my life complete. People that have never had the pleasure of owning a dog will not understand, but those who have will certainly relate.
My dog also helped with my study of death feigning in the American opossum. That discovery led to a better understanding of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and has saved the lives of hundreds of infants. Sadly, because I used an unrestrained dog for the research, no scientific journal in the United States would publish the scientific findings. They feared the SPCA and other animal rights organizations. After a delay of five years, I was able to get it published in a European journal. Few people realize over 80% of life saving procedures were developed using animal research.
10. Sacred Cows in Science, no Objectivity Allowed, edited by E. Norbert Smith, Ph.D. $28.00, 352 pages, ISBN 1456585169. It was self-published in 2011 and is available at bookstores and online at Amazon.com
The term “sacred cow” is fitting as part of the title for this book and comes from the veneration of cows by the Hindus of India. As early as 1910 the term was used as a metaphor to describe a person, organization or institution that is unreasonably immune from criticism. It is fitting when describing certain aspects of evolution, but it also applies today for other areas of science. In the past science was defined largely by its method. Carefully controlled experiments, provisional conclusions, and considered debate once defined the field. But those days have passed. Today, science is often defined by public policy statements, consensus, and a set of metaphysical assumptions that cannot be directly tested. We are taught that science is above all things objective. Unfortunately this is no longer true today as we attempt to show in this groundbreaking book. This is the first book for which I am only the editor. Seventeen professional friends submitted twenty chapters on topics in science about which they are passionate.
11. Al-the-Gator and Sneaky Snake by E. Norbert Smith, Ph.D. It was self-published in 2011 and is available at bookstores and online at Amazon.com. The list price $18.00, 82 pages, ISBN-10: 1461054133
Synopsis: This is Dr. Smith’s fifth children’s book about an alligator and his friends in south Texas, where he caught, studied and released over 200 wild alligators up to 750 pounds. It is beautifully illustrated and is more than just another children's story. It has a moral based on the story about how we learn from those who are different and that it is wrong to bully others that are smaller than us. Included is a reading list for children that want to dig deeper and learn more. It is unusual for the author of a children’s book to be a respected scientist that has studied and published technical papers about the characters in each book, but Dr. Smith has done so.