LOGAN – Amelia Daines and Chelsey Sanders are both mothers of students at Edith Bowen Laboratory School (EBLS) at Utah State University. They collaborated on a little book, “One Little Tree,” with a big message. The book they hope will instill children and parent’s strength to weather the storms of life.
“Edith Bowen is known for challenging kids to see obstacles as opportunities for growth,” Sanders said. “They incorporate the idea of going outside and thinking outside of yourself.”
At the beginning of the year EBLS parents wrote and illustrated a children’s book and they used it to help children deal with the changes going on around them.
The book was used to kick off the school’s theme of “Be the Change.”
Each family was given a pine sapling and asked to plant it at home in a pot so they could replant them in the spring together as a school.
“We got the idea in August of 2020. The School and Parent Teacher Association didn’t know if school was going to be in session or not,” Sanders said. “We wanted to give the students, teachers and parents a message of hope during the pandemic and the proceeds were to go to the Ryker Dattage Outdoor Education Fund.”
Dattage was a former Edith Bowen Laboratory School student, who passed away in a car accident in 2014. A fund was set up in his honor.
Sanders thought of how her own kids were coping with the pandemic and decided to write down a few thoughts.
“My background is not writing, but I came up with a rough draft and talked to Amelia about using her watercolor skills to illustrate the book,” she said. She said Daines was looking for a way to amplify her talents and it was perfect timing.
After they started working on it Daines asked her if it would be alright to send it to her mother, Dr. Sundy Watanabe, an associate instructor of writing at University of Utah. Sending the story to her created a whole new vision.
“We sent it to Emmy’s mother, and she came back with another version,” Sanders said. “It felt so right to send it over to her; that’s where it all changed.”
Then they sent it to Dr. Elizabeth Fauth for a final edit. She is a professor of human development at Utah State University and a parent of EBLS students.
“It is really amazing what can happen when we embrace change, set aside our flaws and take a kid’s approach to learning,” she said. “We want the credit for the book to go to the students and the community.”
Daines said the story is about one little tree that changes from a seed to a tree.
“It’s the wind, the frost and other forces of nature working on the sapling that strengthen it,” she said. “I’ve been a watercolorist and done a lot of artwork, but I have a hard time putting myself out there, so this was a really nice project to work on.”
They put the book on Amazon for the Kindle eBook version for $3.99. Originally, they printed 400 copies and sold them for $8, they have about 60 copies left.
Copies can also be purchased at Watkins Printing located at 110 W. 1200 S. in Logan.
The EBLS PTA would like to invite the community to purchase a book and plant a tree as an activity to remember this years pandemic.