Expressing a love of history and a passion for nature.
A book about poison ivy? Anita Sanchez writes of the surprising virtues of the despised plant in her new picture book Leaflets Three, Let it Be!: The Story of Poison Ivy. The book will be released in spring 2015 by Boyds Mills Press, for pre-K to grade 3.
Beautiful illustrations by Robin Brickman highlight the amazing variety of wildlife that use poison ivy for food and shelter. And no, they don’t get itchy–only humans are affected by the toxic three leaves. Bees buzz in poison ivy flowers, gathering poison ivy nectar. Cardinals use poison ivy rootlets to line their nests. Insects roll themselves up in a snug blanket of poison ivy leaves while toads hunt and spiders spin webs in the shade. And birds by the dozens come flocking to a poison ivy feast of winter berries.
Anita’s next book is upcoming with Charlesbridge Publishers–a biography of Carolus Linnaeus. The famous naturalist was a brilliant scientist whose system of binomial nomenclature–two names for each living thing–is still used today. But he started out as a curious little boy with a passion for weeds and bugs. His exuberant, outspoken, and defiant personality makes him a fascinating character. Karl, Get Out of the Garden!: Carolus Linnaeus and the Naming of Everything will be released in 2016.
Anita’s published books include Mr. Lincoln’s Chair: The Shakers and Their Quest for Peace, The Invasion of Sandy Bay, and The Teeth of the Lion: The Story of the Beloved and Despised Dandelion.
That’s where life shoves through, grows to the sun, flourishes.
I stop every time I’m in a parking lot, a schoolyard, a graveyard–anywhere–and see what plants are growing. There’s unintended beauty in the untended places. I look to see what’s pushing through the cracks in the pavement. What the mowers have missed. What the weed whackers have failed to whack.
So come on this journey with me. Examine and rejoice in that which no one else notices.
Stop by often to see what’s going on in the parking lot! Read Unmowed Blog posts here.
A published author and professional educator, Anita Sanchez has more than twenty years of experience in providing classes and hands-on, participatory programs to a wide range of audiences.
The former director of Educational Programming at the Five Rivers Environmental Education Center, she has presented classes in schools throughout New England and New York State, and given workshops at the American Museum of Natural History, Colonial Williamsburg, Harvard Natural History Museum, the New York State Museum, and many other libraries, bookstores, museums, and classrooms.
In November, the red and yellow leaves are gone, but there’s still a wealth of color. In nature, there are way more than fifty shades of brown.