When I was offered her own plot at the local urban community garden, I thought it would be fun to invite other families to learn to grow food together. As an environmental educator, I knew that for toddlers and preschoolers, digging in the dirt and growing plants for food could plant seeds for a lifelong love of exploring the wonder of nature, hands-on science inquiry, environmental stewardship and joy in healthy eating. 

As we gardened, I noticed what questions children and their parents had, and how they found the answers together. I wrote the picture book How to Say Hello to A Worm: A First Guide to Outside to inspire more kids and their parents to get their hands dirty. 

Here I am planting peas with the Early Birds’ Garden Club

How to Say Hello to a Worm: A First Guide to Outside will be released Feb. 22, 2022, and is now available for pre-order.


Pulling a Print


When I was little, my favorite pages of any coloring book were the blank endpapers. There, I could draw whatever stories I dreamed up. When I got bigger, I studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. The woodcut printmaking I studied there drives my illustration style.

After earning my Master’s in Environmental Science and Science Teaching at Antioch New England Graduate School, I taught science in public schools for several years. I am writing and illustrating books on science inquiry, nature, how children can get involved in citizen science, and picture book biographies of activists and scientists. Libray Parade Crafts Workshop LeaderI also lead workshops making masks and banners for parades with Wonderland Spectacle Company, I lead the Early Birds’ Garden Club for pre-schoolers at the community garden, and lots of other stuff. I live with my husband and two children, close enough to the subway to get around Boston, but also close enough to a giant waterfall to visit often for inspiration.

And my heart still skips a beat when I see a blank page for drawing on.


Teresa Kietlinski at Bookmark Literary represents my work in children’s books. You can contact Teresa at: teresa(at)bookmarkliterary.com

To sign up for my quarterly newsletter, or for any other creative collaborations, contact me at karipercival(at)hotmail.com.
I’d be delighted to hear from you.
In the mean time, follow me on Instagram @karipercival


2020 SCBWI Don Freeman Grant

2019 NESCBWI R. Michelson Emerging Artist Award

2019 NESCBWI Peter Davis Emerging Illustrator Scholarship

2017 NESCBWI Four by Four Mentorship Program, Mentee with Author Illustrator Ashley Wolff


Back Yard Growers, Gloucester, MA 


Central New England Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators

Fox Festival, Arlington Public Art, MA

HONK! Festival of Activist Street Bands, Somerville, MA

AS220 Foo Fest, Providence, RI

Somerville Arts Council, Somerville, MA 

Boston Area Gleaners, MA 

Photos: Greg Cook