A summer job at a nature center turned into a life-long passion for nature.Anita Sanchez--author photo

The summer job—leading kids on nature walks—started off as fun between college semesters, and eventually turned into a career. Anita worked as an environmental educator for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation at education centers across the state. She now is a free-lance educator, providing programs for schools, libraries, and museums as well as botanical gardens and arboreta.

Always a champion of the unloved plants of the world, her first book was The Teeth of the Lion: The Story of the Beloved and Despised Dandelion. “I always loved dandelions, but what made me actually sit down and write a whole book about them was the horrifying fact that more than seven million songbirds a year are killed by pesticides used on lawns and gardens. But I realized no one would want to read a tirade on the evils of pesticides. I started looking for reasons why people should appreciate dandelions, and just kept finding more and more reasons why, throughout history, they have been valued as having the power and beauty of lions.”

Her books sing the praises of unloved plants and animals: dandelions, poison ivy, bats, tarantulas. Her book Leaflets Three, Let it Be! The Story of Poison Ivy was published by Boyds Mills Press, followed by a book for adults called In Praise of Poison Ivy. In 2019, her ninth book will be published: it’s called Rotten! Vultures, Beetles, and Slime: Nature’s Decomposers.

Anita spent her childhood on the rocky coast of Cape Ann, the setting for her historical novelAnita big tree The Invasion of Sandy Bay. “It’s a true story—a war story (it happened during the War of 1812) that is the antithesis of war stories. It’s about how enemies can work together—and how the real enemy is often not who you think it is.”

Anita lives in upstate New York—the part of New York that has trees and mountains, not skyscrapers. But she has also explored Manhattan, London, and Paris, and her blog often chronicles the unnoticed plants of urban environments. She loves to adventure in the wilds of the United States as well as visiting remote places around the world—she has ridden camels in the Sahara desert, dived the Great Barrier Reef of Australia, and participated in an Earthwatch expedition to the Kingdom of Tonga in the South Pacific, as well as travelling in England, France, and  Spain, visiting temples and watching elephants in Sri Lanka, and hiking Mt. Olympus in Greece.

She loves to travel, as you can see, and just returned from a month snorkeling and hiking in Samoa. One of her ambitions is to visit Cuba, where her family originated.

Anita Sanchez in Sri Lanka

in Sri Lanka


Visit Anita’s author page on Amazon.






Author photo by T. Lindsay