Sometimes there’s a lot of “story” behind the story. Sometimes there’s not much – there’s just the story. I’d put Badger’s Perfect Garden in the latter group.
Although my manuscript and book themes stretch over a wide landscape, recently I’ve been enjoying writing about woodland creatures, as in May I Come In? I love badgers in stories, so my main character in this book is again a badger, as in Waiting for Snow.
The reason I wandered into a book about gardens is probably because I’ve been surrounded by gardens all my life. Also, my father’s family has been farmers for generations. My Grandmother Krehbiel lived on a farm all her life and planted vegetables for a family of 10. But she didn’t forget the flowers. Her yard was abundant with color and fragrance – iris, spirea, Bachelor Button, petunias, lilacs. My Grandmother Lippincott moved around a lot, but she always found a spot in which to plant flowers. Her favorites were hollyhocks and sweetpeas. When I lived in Northern California, I had a half acre of flowers and heirloom fruit trees – 50 heirloom roses, lavender, sage, iris, peonies, lilacs (a challenge in California!) and much more.
That perfection bit? Well, I’ve always been a bit of a perfectionist. As I age, I’ve let go of some of my perfectionism. When I do, I find lovely surprises awaiting me, just as Badger did.
- 2019 Florida Book Awards Bronze Medal
- 2020-2021 Pennsylvania Keystone to Reading Elementary Book Award Nominee
- 2020 Growing Good Kids Excellence in Children’s Literature Award, selected by the
- American Horticultural Society and National Junior Master Gardener Program
Midwest Book Review
Picture Book Depot
Ms. Arnold’s prose is impossibly sweet and almost reads like a how-to-plant-a-garden manual for very young readers. Artist Ramona Kaulitzki’s illustrations are as lush and colorful as they are furry and fluffy…
Use this book to open discussions about growing gardens, replenishing barren spots in the yard or neighborhood — and even how not everything can be planned, but even if it isn’t, it may still end up being more beautiful than one ever thought it could be.