Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Christena O’Brien

Rural Chippewa Falls gardener pens first children's book

  • Carol-Awe

    Carol Awe of rural Chippewa Falls turned her love of gardening into her first children's book, "Ms. Greenthumb's Garden."

    Contributed photo

First-time author Carol Awe never expected a children’s book to sprout from the seeds she plants each year.

But the 46-year-old mother of two found herself inspired after a friend’s visit to her home outside of Chippewa Falls a couple of summers ago.

“I was in the garden, covered in dirt,” Awe said. “The kids were so amazed. They had never smelled basil, and they had never smelled dill. That inspired me.”

Her book, “Ms. Greenthumb’s Garden,” educates young readers about how plants, like carrots, onions and peas, grow through the vegetables themselves.

Growing up on a farm in Colby, Awe grew up gardening.

Her own garden provides her family — husband, Dave, and sons, William and Ben, friends and co-workers with fresh ingredients for meals.

Awe worked with South Carolina-based Covenant Books to convert her carefully crafted words into a colorfully illustrated, published book.

“It took about a year to put it all together,” Awe, one of my co-workers at the Chippewa Valley Family YMCA, recently told me. “When I saw the illustrations, it finally sunk in that this was actually happening. It was pretty amazing.”

So has been the book’s reception from friends, family and co-workers, including those at the YMCA, where Awe recently read “Ms. Greenthumb’s Garden” to the children enrolled in the Early Learning Community there.

“Ms. Greenthumb’s Garden” is available online at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million.

As the spring planting season is kicking off for 2018, rest assured that the seeds for a sequel already have sprouted in Awe’s brain.

— Christena T. O’Brien, reporter

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