My lifelong passion for horticulture and art inspired “The Little Gardeners” series for children. Each book delivers a lesson or message, and a journey that children can learn from. In this series, I have endeavored to captivate and entertain the reader, as well as the listener. The characters are among those I have encountered in my gardens, those I have had as pets over many years, and some are merely imaginary.
“Peep” is an ancient little bluebird. He is the main character in this series, cultivated from my childhood. Peep is the essential host who engages with the other characters to educate and entertain the audience. He is a problem solver and a teacher, dedicated to educating the audience about fun outdoor activities, environmental issues, good values, and friendship among all living creatures.
I created the entire series, and completed all of the illustrations in pen and watercolor. I truly hope that you and your children will be entertained, and educated, by Peep and all of his friends. – Carol Hopkins
In this initial entry in the series, “Miss Lady Bug” and all of the other little gardeners introduce themselves and explain their purposes in the garden. However, Peep is the teacher and problem solver, dedicated to teaching children about fun outdoor activities, safety, environmental issues, good values, and friendship among all living things.
“Butterflies” is a beautiful rhyme teaching children the stages of a butterfly unfolding in full color. My inspiration to write this little rhyme came from watching a butterfly while drinking my morning coffee.
“Chester Learns to Fly” is the touching story of a caterpillar who is afraid of becoming a butterfly, because he is afraid to fly. So his friends, Peep and Mr. Dragonfly, hatch a big plan to help him. In the process, Peep narrowly avoids disaster, while showing off his flying skills to Chester.
“Together We Can Do It” is a story about Jack, and a few little gardeners, overcoming their physical challenges. Peep organizes his friends to come together as a team, and succeeds in planting a garden.
When “Peep Goes Sailing,” he and Pat the pelican encounter the tragedy of pollution. After the dive, Pat is traumatized by a plastic ring that gets tangled around his bill. Peep is frantic when he realizes that he can’t help Pat, until Nipper the crab comes to the rescue. Later, Peep and Pat sail with Captain Jack and discover the beauty of the ocean.
In “Hitching a Ride”, Peep follows his dream to visit Big Sur, California, meets up with a California Condor, and learns all about the endangered species.
“Halloween” is a story about the Peepster and his gardening friends who gather for a Halloween celebration. A spooky story is told by the Little Gardener keeping everyone on their seats until Chester plays a trick that scares them all.
“Thomas the Turkey” is a story about the little gardeners who rescue Thomas the Turkey from Thanksgiving dinner.Thomas is grateful, but shocked, after he sees what he has turned into.
In “Christmas in the Garden,” the little gardeners gather to celebrate Christmas in their own special way. This story encourages children to appreciate love among friends and the value of giving.
“O Christmas Tree” is a story about the little gardeners and their journey to find a magical tree. On their journey, they learn to appreciate the blessings of friendship, and the spirit of Christmas.