“Percival conveys the joy children can feel in working together, being outdoors, and eating food they’ve grown themselves—all with a fizzy immediacy” Publishers Weekly Children’s Bookshelf

“A great guide for growing young gardeners” Kirkus Review

Year-End Honors for How To Say Hello To A Worm:

“Conversational questions and answers help a group of little ones learn about the process of planting a garden and the wonders of the outdoors.”2023 Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) List of Notable Children’s Books

 “Earliest readers will love this deep dive (sometimes literally!) into gardening, growing, and learning.” School Library Journal, 31 Days, 31 Lists: 2022 Science and Nature Books for Kids

2023 Blue Ribbon Selection, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library

“The book asks questions, provides practical guidance, and prompts conversations about the living creatures and plants all around us.”Shortlist for the 2023 CLEL Bell Picture Book Awards for Early Literacy, Talk Category Nominations.

About How to Say Hello to a Worm: A First Guide to Outside:

If you want to learn to garden, where do you start? For toddlers and preschoolers, digging in the dirt, observing wildlife, and planting seeds are joyful first steps. Growing plants for food can plant seeds for exploring the wonder of nature, hands-on science inquiry, environmental stewardship and begin a life long joy of healthy eating. 

How to Say Hello to a Worm: A First Guide to Outside introduces very young children to gardening outdoors. In this picture book, toddlers and preschoolers share practical tips such as how to plant seeds, how to build a twig trellis, and how to know which strawberries are ready to pick and eat. They also offer sage advice on important topics such as how to navigate an encounter with a bee, and how to say hello to a ladybug.

The story is set in an urban community garden, and could be in a neighborhood garden program, day care or preschool class, where the children model scientific inquiry: observing, asking questions and hands-on exploring the dirt to find their own answers. Readers will delight in follow kids just like them along as the process of growing food plants and learning from each other as the growing season unfolds to a joyful harvest. 

How to Say Hello to a Worm: A First Guide to Outside was inspired by environmental educator Kari Percival’s experience leading the Early Birds’ Garden Club at the Malden Community Garden with her young children. As they gardened, she noticed what questions children and their parents had, and how they found the answers together. She wrote this book to inspire more kids and their parents to get their hands dirty. 

How to Say Hello to A Worm: A First Guide to Outside is published by Rise x Penguin Workshop, whose mission is “to engage, empower, and evolve the youngest readers (ages 0-5) with authentic, relevant, and elegant books.”

How to Say Hello to a Worm: A First Guide to Outside is now available.

Click here to order or ask your favorite local independent bookstore to order your copy!

Read this Publishers Weekly Children’s Bookshelf starred review.

Read this Kirkus Review.

What’s next? Coming in 2025 from Chronicle Books:

SAFE CROSSING: a story of spring amphibian migration, and volunteers who help protect them from roadways. Informational fiction picture book, for ages 6-10.