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!

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

2023 Ezra Jack Keats Writer Award

2023 ALA Notable Children’s Books

2023 Blue Ribbon Selection, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library

2023 CLEL Bell Picture Book Talk Award for Early Literacy

Read this Publishers Weekly starred review, this Kirkus Review and this School Library Journal 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.