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.
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.
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. I 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.
Photos: Greg Cook