A landscape designer and garden writer, I've implemented learning gardens at elementary and middle schools throughout Texas. Whether speaking or writing, my joy is in discovery. Nothing brings more satisfaction than encouraging that rebirth experience, the "ah-ha" moment when the child in each of us sees a piece of our world with new eyes.
My first children's book, OUR SHADOW GARDEN allowed me to travel a path of discovery with young patients in treatment for cancer at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. The story, winner of the Growing Good Kids - Excellence in Children's Literature Award and the Southern Writers' Literary Award, was written after I was misdiagnosed with a fatal illness several years ago. Showing how a child's creative love can overcome obstacles, it also gives readers a glimpse into the creatures and plants of the night. Illustrated by students in treatment at MD Anderson Cancer Center (www.childrensart.org), the artwork brought OUR SHADOW GARDEN to life in ways I'd never imagined. All proceeds from the sale of this book return to the program to continue the incredible work being done for patients, including college scholarships and camps. 47 students contributed art to the book.
Writing gardening books and magazine articles for adults (HEIRLOOM BULBS FOR TODAY, with "The Bulb Hunter," Chris Wiesinger) eats up a lot of my time, but I constantly find myself stealing moments to continue my work on books for students. BLOOMIN' TALES: SEVEN FAVORITE WILDFLOWER LEGENDS (illustrated by Joy Fisher Hein) tells some of the incredible folk tales I've run across over the last twenty years designing school learning gardens. A special TEXAS edition allows folks from the Lone Star State (and those who wish they were!) to gain insight into the state's most famous flowers. I've completed 3 more children's books, including WHAT'S THAT? ROADSIDE WILDFLOWERS OF TEXAS, the 1st book in an environmental series (illustrated by Susan McMillin) designed to help students of all ages not only identify wildflowers, but become intimate with the world at their feet. And I guess that's really my passion..... to dig up those rocks and turn them over, finding those stories that are all around us, the ones that are begging to be told!
Member since 2009
Region: Texas: Houston
Published In Children's Market:
Available for Speaking Engagements?