“Millie’s Garden” invites readers into the enchanting and whimsical world of a rabbit named Millie, a special place where animals impart wisdom and remind us of life’s simple pleasures.
October 26 to November 18
gallery exhibition of book illustrations and accompanying text
book signing and live readings by the author
video & images from the live reading & book signing event below!
Dr. Joyce is an International Psychologist with a focus on global cultures and indigenous peoples. Retired from a twenty-year teaching career, she currently devotes her attention to consulting, speaking engagements, and writing for professional venues.
In this book she takes a divergent path from her customary academic pursuits, and welcomes readers into the enchanting world of a rabbit called Millie. It was written with the intent to draw adult readers and children together, and to nurture the joy of reading.
Dr. Joyce lives in a small town in southwest Kansas, described as “the middle of nowhere, but half way to everywhere.” She shares her home with a Standard Poodle named Chloë, that you may find making a debut appearance in Millie’s Garden.
Kathleen Kuchar is at home in Hays, Kansas and is professor emerita of art, Fort Hays State University. She is officially “retired” but continues to create, exhibit, and present art workshops.
Kathleen was honored as the Kansas Governor’s Visual Artist in 1993 and has received numerous awards over the years for her painting and teaching. Her acclaimed distinctive style is immediately recognizable in the illustrations she has created for this book.
“I love animals and I love painting, so when I was invited to illustrate this ‘Millie’ book, a story full of magical words that spark the imagination, it was a definite YES! The excitement for me was bringing Millie and her friends to life for readers of all ages.”
Millie is a lagomorph . . . which is just another name for a rabbit.
She lives in the garden behind a big white house with a bright red awning.
Millie loves her home in the garden, and she has a very good memory as all rabbits do!
She remembers me and she’d remember you!
Now Millie would never say this herself, because she is very shy as most rabbits are, but she is truly quite beautiful.
Her fur is soft and fluffy. It’s a lovely shade of gray and white all swirled together like a puffy cloud floating high above in the bright blue sky. It makes just the loveliest rabbit coat.
Her ears are long, but not too long.
Her tail is short but not too short.
A finer example of a lagomorph cannot be found!
But Millie’s true beauty is her love for others and for her home.
Even though she is shy she still has many friends. Her garden is full of other animals that live and visit there too.
The three squirrels that live in the big Maple tree in the center of the garden are always stirring things up. Their names are Curly, Larry, and Moe, and they are very funny! They run circles all around the tree and up and down its trunk.
They chase each other and play all day, and sometimes they stop to take a drink from the rock fountain made just right for squirrels to climb on.
Squirrels love to take naps. Sometimes they take a nap under the pink Spirea bush where Millie lives. She doesn’t mind, she likes the company.
I do wonder what squirrels and rabbits find to talk about, don’t you?
Maybe they chat about the birds that come to visit. So many birds fly and flutter all about and dine on the best of seeds in the bird feeder hanging just over Millie’s bush.
There are Cardinals all bright red with pointy little tufts of feathers on their heads! There are big bossy Blue Jays that squawk and screech! There are Starlings all black and glossy with polka dots on their feathers! There are the lovely sweet Turtle Doves that Coo Coo Coo. And of course, don’t forget all the little Finches with red feather caps on their tiny noggins! The Wrens, and Robins, and Swallows visit too, and Sparrows aren’t left out either!
All the birds come to share the seeds and tell their tales of far off places they have flown from just to come to Millie’s Garden. It’s the one that they love best.
It must be a very famous garden indeed.
Those three ornery squirrels, Curly, Larry, and Moe, love to munch on the bird seeds too. But the feeder hangs on a wire and is so hard to reach! You might think they were trapeze artists in a circus as they scamper over the fence and make grand leaps through the air stretching out their tiny arms reaching for the feeder with all their might. They are such acrobats and dare-devils! Sometimes they land on its top and hang upside down just to make everyone in the garden laugh very loud. “Ha Ha Ha you silly squirrels,” everyone says!
So many seeds fall to the ground all around Millie’s bushy Spirea home. But Millie doesn’t eat the seeds like the birds and squirrels do because that’s not what lagomorphs find tasty. They only like greens and such. Millie loves to nibble on the yellow dandelions and white clovers that grow in her garden.
And sometimes she nibbles on bright orange carrots that mysteriously appear under her bush. There are no carrots that grow anywhere in her garden. Who could it be leaving leaving carrot surprises for her, she wonders?
Check out this great video