I am thrilled to announce that I’m embarking on a new endeavor this year ~ a “garden adventure” fiction series intended for a middle grade audience. Written under the pseudonym D. S. Venetta, Show Me The Green! will be released next month.

worm and dirt scene

It’s the First Annual Garden Contest sponsored by the local farmer’s market, and Lexi and Jason Williams are determined to win with organic vegetables grown under the supervision of their mother. In this battle against time and the elements, the kids are sidetracked by everything from caterpillars to worms, seeds to harvest. While the siblings test each other’s patience, they marvel at the wealth of discoveries hidden away between the beds of their garden. Including, poop. Worm poop, mostly.

Who knew a garden could be so much fun?

Well, you did, of course! You’re a gardener and every gardener knows full well the joy and hidden treasures awaiting them out their back door. As many of you might recall, I spent a few years gardening with the students at my children’s school and that experience ignited the idea for these novels. If I learned anything, it was that kids love to be outside and they love to learn new things (especially creepy, crawly things!).

Williams kids

As a teacher for the past thirty years, I am always looking for new books and new authors to introduce my students, to entice them and reignite their interests in reading. “Farmer’s Market” is an easy read that I read to my third, fourth and fifth graders. We thoroughly enjoyed hearing about Jason, Lexi and their mom as they cared for their garden. Not only were the characters easy to relate to and real, one can learn quite a bit about gardening without feeling like you’re reading a textbook. My students commented that they’d felt just like Jason and Lexi did a few times, and I shared that I had surely felt like the mom, too. Having read many books, I feel strongly about recommending this book to students as well as teachers. Great, well-written children’s book! ~ Sharon Grier, Montessori teacher

Although Show Me the Green! is clearly a strong “Let’s garden” for country and suburban children, even city dwellers should be inspired by this charming tale of how to grow veggies. With chapter titles like “Slippery Eggs & Seeds,” “Wacky Weeds,” “Shiny Frogs & Flittering Flies,” this is a fun story in itself and an inspiration to children everywhere. ~ Blair Bancroft, Author

Show Me The Green! is set for release next month, available in black and white print form and full-color ebook. If you’d like to receive news and updates regarding the series, please like my D.S. Venetta Facebook page. The website will be up and running first of June, then watch for book #2 in the Wild Tales & Garden Thrills series later this year. In addition to BloominThyme, I’ll also be hosting a blog specifically for kids to share their adventures in gardening.

Please spread the word with parents, teachers and kids everywhere!