Picture Book Party Spring 2020
PB Party Entry 15: A Weed’s Worth, STEM, Character Driven
A Weed's Worth
STEM, Character Driven, Contemporary
Word Count:

I am pleased to submit my picture book manuscript, A WEED’S WORTH, for your consideration. It depicts how a well-meaning weed gains confidence, self-knowledge, and a friend on a personal journey from the garden to the wild.

His roots are too wide. His flowers are too spiky. Wiley doesn’t want to, but he’s taking over the garden. Tossed into the wild, a new friend helps Wiley accept himself as a weed—AND a Thistle.

Wiley’s rapid growth spurt, spiky stem, and pointy leaves cause the other garden plants to label him a weed— despite the fact that he means no harm. When Wiley is weeded and left uprooted, he draws upon his toughness, tenacity, and fast growth— the same traits that make him a weed— for survival. Firmly rooted in his new home, Wiley meets Anne, a fellow weed who helps him see himself in a new light and recognize his role in the scheme of nature. With a new friend and a new sense of self-worth, Wiley fully realizes his potential and redefines himself as more than just a plain old weed.

A WEED’s WORTH, at about 530 words, is a compassionate tale about fitting in, celebrating our differences, and freeing ourselves from the opinions of others.

As an expert in the (esoteric) field of garden-based education, most recently as the Executive Director of New York City-based nonprofit City Growers, my career has been devoted to sparking wonder in the natural world among children and teens. I have a Masters degree in English Education and previously worked as a teacher. I am a member of SCBWI and 12×12.

Thank you for your time and consideration.


In the beginning, Wiley looked like all the other seedlings.

But soon, he changed. Wiley’s roots shot down and a spiny stem shot up. He sprouted jagged, pointy leaves. To his embarrassment, spiky purple flowers began popping up all over him.

“Wiley’s a weed!” the other plants jeered.

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This contest entry was posted on Wednesday, 18 March 2020.