Hi, Dr. O'Neil. Welcome to Writers4Higher!
1. Tell me about yourself. Your book(s), your life, your inspiration.
Who is the Little Green Guide?
The inspiration for this book was my Little Green Guide, my grandson, John Riley. John Riley loves to spend time outdoors. He is happiest when he is running and playing in nature. His natural curiosity about things makes him an eager learner. When I wrote this book he was 2 ½ years old. He never ceases to amaze me with what he remembers and asks about when we play outside. He is also very excited to share his discoveries with anyone who will listen.
That is the very definition of a Little Green Guide: a little one who loves being out in nature and sharing the magic of it with others and helping to insure that it will be there for the next generation to enjoy. My intent is writing this book was to instill both a love of the outdoors and a love of sharing what they learn about nature with others.
I hold a doctorate in Education and Human Development from Boston University. I am an Associate Professor of Early Childhood Education and a Certified Green Guide. I enjoy exploring nature with my grandson John Riley.
2. Where do you see your writing taking you in the future?
I hope to do a series of books about “The Little Green Guide.” The next book I hope to write is “The Little Green Guide Goes to the Beach.”
3. How do you use your talents/time to help others?
I took a “Green Guide” course through Tallahassee Community College last fall semester and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I learned about the many benefits of getting outdoors, including less stress, more fun and an appreciation of the environment. I now want to share that love of nature with others and help insure that nature’s beauty will be there for the next generation to enjoy.
Nature is a child’s greatest playground. It is free, it is available twenty-four hours a day and it is right outside your window. Sadly, playing outdoors is becoming a lost art! A recent survey found that half of the adults polled had played outside at least seven times a week when growing up, while only 23 percent of their children do that now.
Children love being out in nature and sharing the magic of it with others, while helping to insure that it will be there for the next generation to enjoy.
The Little Green Guide is a valuable story and activities manual that encourages teachers, parents, and family to get outside with their preschoolers (little green guides) to explore nature and have fun!
Not only will spending more time outdoors provide children with life-long benefits, parents and teachers will reap many rewards themselves! Bonds will be strengthened, all will learn more about nature, and be pleasantly surprised how some outdoor time can improve one’s mood (as well as blood pressure)!
The Little Green Guide includes easy-to-understand lesson plans that can be adapted to any preschool setting as most classrooms have children at a number of different developmental stages. In addition, the activities can be used verbatim or may be customized to fit individual needs. Teachers and parents are encouraged to use their imagination as much as the children use theirs!