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Early this morning I sat out in the garden to eat my breakfast. There's a spot where the old wooden bench rests. It's surrounded by flowers, herbs and rambling squash vines all growing together in a harmonious tangle. While I enjoyed my food, the sun was just coming up over the trees on the other side of our house.

The light cast a glow on the burgundy leaves of the amaranth, revealing the hidden tones of red and bronze in their leaves. The seed heads of dill looked like backlit explosions of fireworks in the dazzling light. The dew on the squash leaves instantly became vapor from the sun's heat. Bees were humming amongst the Anise Hyssop.

I turned around to see the sun reflecting in the petals of the tall yellow sunflowers behind me, striking against the crisp, blue morning sky. An occasional dotting of red poppies accented all the lush green around me. It could have not been a more wonderful beginning of a day off in early August.

This is a story about a new garden at an elementary school. Families from different cultures are given the opportunity to grow food for themselves to enjoy. Leo's grandmother, Ramona, gives him a seedling, but doesn't tell him what it is. He plants it and it thrives in his garden (as well as his neighbors'). The summer garden is a busy place for everyone. To celebrate all of their work, they plan a festive dinner to end the garden season. There is music, dancing and a long table full of dishes from around the world. On their way home, his grandmother finally tells him what the plant was.

The book ends with five recipies from different cultures using this ingredient.

The Singing Plant is my first children's book. Most of the work on it was during the long New England winters when I was happy to be in my nice warm studio. The garden was alive in my imagination, blooming one brush stroke at a time.

It is my hope that this story will be enjoyed by children young and old. That it will inspire them to explore gardening and the natural world around them; maybe even want to play around in the kitchen and make something good to eat and share.

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I am available upon request to visit schools for a two hour program. It would include reading this story intended for children in kindergarten through second grade. Also a hands-on project where the children would learn to make spring rolls. They would prepare a colorful assortment of fresh vegetables, make a peanut sauce (or a substitute) and learn how to assemble them. We would all have fun making them and sitting down to eat them. No stoves are needed.

If you are interested, please feel free to contact me.

Call 413-634-5435
Email: annette@rubinocards.com
Write: Annette Rubino-Buckley
P.O. Box 177
Cummington, MA 01026

Maybe I will hear from you. We can talk about details and etc.

Thank you for your interest,
Annette

To order books
Retail -$16.00 each book
Sales tax - $1.00 each book
Mailing - $2.50 a book

Makes checks payable to: Annette Rubino-Buckley

Send to: Annette Rubino-Buckley
P.O. Box 177
Cummington Ma. 01026

To order wholesale:
Please call me at (413) 634-5435
or Email at annette@rubinocards.com
to discuss the options and terms.

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