In 2006, after moving from Long Island to Westchester, I was pleased that the New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) was an easy ride from my new home. My then eight year old daughter, Hannah, became a Crafter at the NYBG’s Family Garden and I was asked to join the team as an instructor – and I've been teaching there for the past 10 years. In 2011, I built a garden at the Osborn Elementary School in Rye where I was working and I have been managing and teaching in it ever since. As an educator in both of these gardens, I need to write lesson plans. For my lessons, I like to have a book to correspond with what I am teaching. So for example, I teach a lesson about plant parts and one on insects and didn’t have the ‘just right book’ to correspond with my lessons. So I wrote my own – hand lettered them and drew the pictures myself.
Since I was little, I have loved children’s books – reading them and collecting them – and always thought how cool it would be to have a children’s book of my own on the shelves of a library. My sister, Mia, an accomplished and talented illustrator heard about the books and I asked her if she might want to collaborate and get some of these books published – she said yes! I met with my friend, Rob Dircks, who had recently published some books of his own – he said “You work at the New York Botanical Garden, why don’t you see if they will help you publish your books?” So I met with the head of Children’s Education at NYBG and learned that the Garden has a publication house – the NYBG Press. Mia and I met with the Director and the Production Editor of the Press. They saw my manuscripts and Mia’s illustrations and they said, ‘Yes! Let’s pursue this.’ We submitted proposals in March of 2016 and by December of 2016, the NYBG Press published their first children’s book – What Grows in the Garden? In February of 2017, two more books followed – What Lives in the Garden? and What Do You Sense in the Garden?The three were turned into a boxed set called Wonders in the Garden. I hope you will buy the set to keep on your library shelf! I hope the books inspire you to be passionate about gardening. And I hope that this story inspires you to follow your dreams – if you want to publish a book, go for it!
this websitewas created as a place to showcase these books as well as other tools and resources I have to offer – as an author, an educator and a garden guru.