Books

The Lady and the Octopus, a middle-grade biography of pioneering 19th-century scientist Jeanne Villepreux-Power, is coming from Lerner in October 2022.


This revised edition of Squid Empire, published by The Experiment in 2019, has new science and new images to offer!

Squid Empire is now out of print (and outdated), so look for Monarchs of the Sea at your local bookstore, library, or online retailer.


One of NPR's Best Science Books of 2017


Ancient sea monsters. Epic underwater battles. Stunning fossil discoveries.

Combining the fascinations of undersea life and paleontology, Squid Empire is an epic adventure spanning hundreds of millions of years—from the primordial seas to the calamari on your dinner plate.

"Fresh and fascinating."The Times Literary Supplement

"Fiendishly readable."The Inquisitive Biologist

"Staaf's approach is short and sweet, well illustrated and strong on playful narrative. . . I loved this book."Nature

"It is a treat to come across a writer with such specialized training who is able to turn esoteric knowledge into a page-turning read for all audiences. . . . Staaf captures what is rarely seen outside the ivory tower: scientists talking among themselves with a touch of irreverence. Researchers everywhere will surely relate."Science

“Cephs rule! Squid Empire, like its protagonists, is nimble, fast, surprising, smart, and weird in the very coolest sense of the word. What could be more fun than jetting back in time to primordial seas with the monsters who really ruled our planet? In these pages, Danna Staaf makes every dino-lover and every undersea adventurer’s dream come true. It’s a fabulous read with squishy, slimy delight on every page.”—Sy Montgomery, New York Times-bestselling author of The Soul of an Octopus

“This crystal-clear book will open your world to wider horizons and much deeper times.”—Carl Safina, New York Times-bestselling author of Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel