My friend Kathryn Galbraith and I met inNew York City more than 30 years ago when we were both taking a writing class at the New School. She was working on her first novel for children, Come Spring, about Rennie, a little girl who is moving (again) to a new house, not just an apartment, and looking to put down roots. Kathryn has a special insight and understanding of the hearts of children, and this is a tender story that all of us can identify with, the search for home, even as adults.
Then we both left New York in 1979, she to Washington State and the writing of more books, and I to Heath where I began writing about gardens and gardeners.
Since then she has written many wonderful picture books, most recently Arbor Day Square which I wrote about here. This beautiful book is not only about trees, but about family and community. I knew that Planting the Wild Garden was in the works, because through all these years Kathryn and I have written to each other about life in a new location, our families, our work and the changes that are inevitable over 30 years. Only once were we able to visit when my husband and I travelled to visit relatives on the west coast as my 60th birthday celebration. Now, eleven years later I am planning to visit again and see her new house, new study and meet her new dog. Always changes.
Yesterday my husband brought in the mail and there was a big padded envelope from Kathryn – with Planting the Wild Garden which will be officially released on April 1. (Available at Amazon.) The cover, as you can see, is delicately illustrated with plants and animals, and a little girl, by Wendy Anderson Halperin. Opening a book like this is to be savored, past the endpapers showing fruits and seeds of all kinds, because this is a book about how seeds move around the landscape. Mother Nature has a whole variety of techniques of growing new gardens. Then the Title Page – autographed – and then – and then the Dedication page. It is dedicated to me! And to her husband Steve, who like my husband, makes everything possible.
I am so honored! As E.B. White, or maybe Wilbur the pig said of Charlotte the spider, “It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer.” Thank you, dear friend. I know that this book will bring so much pleasure, and information, as they read your poetic descriptions of the way seeds are dispersed.
I could hardly believe my eyes!
Note that Parent’s Choice Award – Everyone loves Kathryn’s books!