Edith Patch remembered a day
from her childhood at her country school in Minneapolis, Minnesota, when
a kindergarten teacher gave her a story about a cabbage worm
that turned into a beautiful butterfly. The little girl was enraged, for
she knew that the worm was actually a caterpillar, and that
it would turn into a modest little white butterfly, not a gorgeously colored
one. Even worse, the story was illustrated with a picture of the Cecropia
moth, a night insect. At that moment, Edith Patch said to herself, When
I grow up, I will write stories about outdoor things for children and
they shall be true stories.
Edith Patch kept her resolve. She published her first two books herself
through the Pine Cone Press of Orono Dame Bug and her Babies in
1913 and How Laddie Tells the Time oYear in 1914. She began contributing
articles and stories to periodicals in 1915. Later the Atlantic Monthly
Press and the Macmillan Publishing Company would bring out her books.
She wrote or co-wrote 18 books and wrote over 100 stories or articles
for children during the course of her publishing career.
She believed that children who look closely and make careful observations
of the natural world will see marvels, undertake adventures, and uncover
mysteries. Patch invited her young readers to join her in her delight
of the world around them. The familiar countryside surrounding her home
Braeside, with its meadows and hills, became the prototype
for the fictional settings of her Holiday series.
by Nancy MacKnight