Karl, Get Out of the Garden!
Swine’s snout? Yellow daisy? Dandelion?
What was the right name? Young Karl Linné wasn’t sure—and neither was anyone else!
Doctors, gardeners, farmers—everybody!—argued about the names of plants and animals. How could scientists communicate if they couldn’t even agree on what to call things?
Karl knew there was only one solution: to organize and name EVERY LIVING THING in the world. But it was an enormous job. Could he do it?
He decided to try. Karl created a new language of science—and forever changed the way people saw the world.
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 March 2017.
In Praise of Poison Ivy
As a science writer, I’m fascinated by plants and animals that are unloved—like dandelions, tarantulas, and what is perhaps the world’s most hated plant—poison ivy.
Millions of people are allergic to poison ivy, which contains one of the most potent toxins on earth. But the astounding paradox is that poison ivy is a plant of immense ecological value. It’s a plant of a powerful plant with a dramatic history and an increasingly important role in the American landscape. For me, poison ivy has served as a lens through which to take a closer look at the green world, and the changes and challenges that face our planet.
Leaflets Three, Let it Be!: The Story of Poison Ivy is a children’s picture book, designed to help the youngest outdoor explorers both appreciate and avoid poison ivy.
In Praise of Poison Ivy is a nonfiction book for adults, which explores the vices and virtues of a powerful plant with a dramatic history and an increasingly important role in the American landscape.
Wild mammals from mice to moose, honeybees and butterflies, woodpeckers, wild turkeys, robins, and bluebirds all defy poison ivy’s nasty nature and feast on its leaves and fruit. Cardinals are even known to line their nests with fuzzy poison ivy rootlets.
Poison ivy and humans have long had a passionate love/hate affair. This book follows the trail of poison ivy as it encounters an engaging cast of historical characters, including explorers, scientists, entrepreneurs and royalty—who all learned about poison ivy the hard way. Despite its irritating qualities, the magnificent scarlet-and-gold autumn foliage of poison ivy has been showcased in the gardens of presidents and kings.
The book includes informational sidebars on identifying poison ivy, how to cope with that insanely itchy rash, and “green” methods of coping with the plant.
Leaflets Three, Let it Be!: The Story of Poison Ivy
A book about poison ivy? Anita Sanchez writes of the surprising virtues of the despised plant in her new children’s book, published by Boyds Mills Press.
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 other 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.
Her first book was The Teeth of the Lion: The Story of the Beloved and Despised Dandelion, published by McDonald and Woodward Publishing Company. The book is packed with information about–of all things!– dandelions. It describes their ecology, and the crucial and unexpected role they play in the environment. The despised little lawn weed has been used by humans for centuries as a powerful medicine. The final chapters describe the environmental damage caused by the indiscriminate use of lawn pesticides.
Anita Sanchez writes for middle grade and young adults as well. Her historical novel The Invasion of Sandy Bay was published by Boyds Mills Press. The American Library Association called it “a great tale of heroism and adventure.” (ALAN’s PICKS, September, 2008.) A fast-paced story with plot twists and vivid characters, Booklist noted its “surprising humor and readability.”
The book tells the tale–a true story–of how British and American soldiers worked together to free prisoners and create a truce in the midst of violence. The Boston Authors’ Club described Sandy Bay as “the antithesis to war stories,” and selected it for their List of Highly Recommended Books.
Mr. Lincoln’s Chair: The Shakers and Their Quest for Peace, is the tale of some of the most rebellious Americans who ever lived. The Shakers were often despised and misunderstood–like dandelions–but with the persistence of weeds they have made an indelible mark on history. Midwest Book Review called Mr. Lincoln’s Chair “a captivating, well-researched historical chronicle written to appeal to readers of all backgrounds, highly recommended!”
“In the end, we will conserve only what we love;
We will love only what we understand;
We will understand only what we are taught.”
–Baba Dioum (Senegalese Environmentalist)