Dear Friends,

 

A few years ago, my children and I planted a butterfly garden in our backyard. We grow milkweed for monarch butterflies (it's the only food their caterpillars will eat), blue salvia and borage for the bees, and orange Cape honeysuckle for the hummingbirds. We get visits from big, coppery dragonflies the exact color of a new penny. Once we even spotted a tarantula hawk wasp—a strange-looking critter that lays its eggs on tarantulas!

But of all the birds and insects that live in our garden, my kids' favorites have always been roly polies. I know the feeling; when I was little, they were my favorites too. What's cuter than a tiny little bug that curls up into a ball? We often have a roly poly or two living in a jar on our counter—only for a few hours, and then back they go to the garden. That's what inspired me to write about a roly poly and her little bug friends. Roly needed a very special best friend, and I think inchworms are pretty special. Once, I watched one inch its way all the way up a sunflower stalk—for a creature so teeny, it must have been like climbing into the sky.

 

When I write about Inch and Roly, I like to stretch out in the grass and look at the world from a bug's-eye view. The grass becomes a forest, and the white jasmine flowers are like stars overhead. From that perspective, the whole world is spilling over with stories. I had so much fun writing some of them down. I hope you'll have just as much fun reading them!

 

Warm wishes,

Melissa Wiley