Some time ago, when I was newly acquainted with the garden, I met a young katydid.
Sure, she had eaten chunks out of my rosebuds and discs out of my leaves, but she was just so intriguing and delicious that I started following her around.
She looked innocent enough with her leaf-green body, tiny wings, slender legs and pink blush as she gingerly stepped from flower to flower.
But I was convinced that when I wasn't looking, she would turn into this:
An intrepid adventurer!
Here are 5 facts you may not know about katydids:
1. They may look a lot like grasshoppers, and are indeed in the same order, but from a totally different family.
2. Katydids are wizards at camouflage and masters of imagination.
3. Their favourite foods are leaf tacos.
4. Young katydids often have a splash of bright colour on their back, but some adult katydids can be totally fluoro!
5. Katydids makes sounds called stridulations with their wings.
I wanted to write a book about her, as I was collecting ideas for picture books at the time. But her adventures were so massive that it wouldn't fit into 32 pages. I figured it was time to expand into a chapter book at the very least, but I wasn't sure where to start.
So I took the Children's Book Academy Chapter Book Alchemist / Middle Grade Mastery course, taught by Mira Reisberg and Hillary Homzie. I was blessed with great teachers and an awesome critique group, and soon my little katydid found a home.
I submitted the first chapter of my story, 'Braving the Shadows - a Katydid Tale' to the Greenleaf Blossoms Chapter Book competition, and guess what?
I won 2nd place!! Hooray!
My little katydid continues to grow in my adventure series and I hope that one day it can find a new friend in a young avid reader and fellow adventurer.