Sheila Says We’re Weird


Ruth Ann meets a young reader at Troy Author Day, Troy Public Library.


Illustrated by Jennifer Emery

Published by Tilbury House Press, June 2011 (

Awards: Moonbeam Bronze Award, Skipping Stones Magazine Honor Book, School Librarians International Honor Book, Green Earth Awards Shortlist

This cheerful book covers topics such as gardening, composting, nutrition, local food and farmers’ markets, energy conservation,and recycling in a simple, humorous way. Gorgeous, detailed pictures and appealing characters captivate the youngest readers.

I’m told that even two and a half year olds ask for it by name!

Family-Friendly, Earth-Friendly

Sheila lives next door, and wants to know why her “weird” neighbors do things such as hang out their laundry, compost, and cook from scratch. The family’s simple answers about simple living teach without preaching.

Depicting practices as easy as using cloth napkins and as diverse as using a rain barrel and a worm bin, the book opens up many opportunities for families to discuss how their choices might help the planet. Children from “both sides of the fence” will enjoy exploring ideas about lifestyle differences.


Praise for Sheila Says We’re Weird:

“Sheila’s the perfect nosy neighbor and the neighbors are equal to her constant questioning, at ease with their green lifestyle with all its simple pleasures. This is a child’s lesson for us all.” Amy Seidl, author of Early Spring: An Ecologist and Her Children Wake to a Warming World 

“A good-humored guide to environmentally responsible behavior, all the more convincing (and refreshing) for being indirect. (Picture book 6-8) Kirkus 

“The only thing weird about this family is how much fun they have—what a lovely reminder of how easy some change is! Bill McKibben, author of Eaarth, and Deep Economy

“The book allows further dialog with my daughters every time we read it. It gives them a framework for thinking about their differences, and helps them tell their own story. I wouldn’t change a thing, and I recommend it strongly to any families out there looking to re-write the story about what defines American culture.” Shannon Hayes, author of Radical Homemaker and The Farmer and the Grill


I have shared Sheila Says We’re Weird with pre-school through 5th graders. Whether you are a school, homeschool group, garden club, nature center, library or book store, I would be glad to do an author visit with you.

Please get in touch with me through my contact page to discuss the possibilities.