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!
This Post Has 10 Comments
Congrats to your friend for such a beautiful book. I am sure it is a great read. You are mightly blessed.
Lisa – It is good to know about books like this when you have to buy a gift for a young child.
OH!! I am so excited and happy for you. What a wonderful thing to have a book dedicated to you. I was given the first book by blue slip media last year to review. I went back to my blog entry and you left a comment, but you didn’t mention that you knew the author! Just recently I had another note asking if I would like this book, and it arrived the other day. I haven’t looked at it yet so didn’t know about the dedication. What a thrill. I am so happy you are going to get to visit your old friend.
Nan – I might not have mentioned that I knew the author because I wanted to sound ‘objective.’ She is a wonderful writer – and a dear friend.
How wonderful to have a book dedicated to you, Pat! But most of all, it’s wonderful to have such a good friend; long-time friends like this are indeed real treasures. Kathryn’s book looks beautiful; I might buy a copy to share with my grandkids.
Rose – The book is beautiful – and friends indeed are the greatest treasures.
That is truly an honor! My granddaughter is turning 2 this very day. I am adding this book to her pile of presents although she will receive it a bit late.
Layanee – The book is wonderful. I think your granddaughter will love it, especially if you read it with her.
What a great honor Pat! Congratulations and how wonderful you will be visiting your old friend again soon.