Creating the Last Book, Hug A Slug, Scoot a Newt

        In 2012 I finished the nine month training to be docent at the Bouverie Preserve near Glen Ellen. For thirty some years they have provided a hiking program for third and fourth graders which included an in class program featuring what the children might see on their visit. The following week they were bussed out to the preserve and led on a hike in groups of five or six with a docent and a parent. I did that once a week during the season.

       In 2020 I thought of making a story of our hikes which featured the same stops through the preserve giving the children the experience of four different habitats and the animals and plants that lived in them. Being a sewer and saving all fabric scraps forever I had two large drawers full. I had made a wall hanging picturing 21 birds all out of scraps. I thought how about doing the pictures that illustrate the hikes all in fabric. The textures of the cloth works so well in picturing the natural scenes I would use in the story.

       I bought heavier multimedia paper, 14X17 inches, to glue the fabric on. There were five hikers, four students and a docent. I realized I needed to make several of each, moving or sitting in different ways. That way I could creat the background of the trail and the creek within the different habitats and place the hikers and the docent on the picture when I photographed them.

       The story followed exactly how the hike would go. I made pictures of the ants, the galls, the newts, the turret spider, the salamanders  and others things we’d focus upon. Since I used the people in many pictures they aren’t glued on.

       I hired an editor who’d check my work and put the book together. She also found a publisher that I used. And for a few hundred dollars I had thirty books to sell which I do now and again. You can order a book on this website.

Published by Chlele Gummer

I'm an artist, writer and author of nine children's books. Nature is my inspiration. Next project is a book of a hike with children. The pictures are created out of fabric scraps.

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