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Joy Takes Root

Joy Takes Root

Illustrated by Ashleigh Corrin


Joy Takes Root

About the Book

In her grandmother's garden, a young Black girl learns about mindfulness and herbal medicine in this soothing intergenerational story about our connection to nature.

It's Joy's first summer in her grandmother's South Carolina gardena rite of passage. In the midst of okra, spinach, and strawberries, Grammy teaches Joy that plants are friends with many uses. Herbs, for example, can be turned into medicine. 
There in Grammy's abundant backyard, Joy learns to listen for the heartbeat of the earth and connect it to her own as she takes deep breaths and puts her intentions into the soil. By the story's end, she learns to grow seeds in her own garden, honoring all that her grandmother taught her. With sensory-rich illustrations from award-winning illustrator Ashleigh Corrin, Joy Takes Root is a blissful reminder of all that might bloom.

Product Details

On sale: June 20, 2023
Age: 4-8 years
Grade: Preschool - 3
Page count: 32 Pages
ISBN: 9780593406786
Reading level: Lexile: AD810L | Fountas/Pinnell: O

Author Bio

Gwendolyn Wallace graduated from Yale in 2021 and currently works for the International African American Museum. A budding herbalist, her debut children's book Joy Takes Root was inspired by her own experiences gardening with her grandmother in South Carolina. Her next picture book, The Light She Feels Inside (Sourcebooks) will publish Fall 2023. 


Ashleigh Corrin is a graphic designer by day, illustrator by night. Her talent comes from her late grandmother, who inspired Ashleigh to serve people's unique stories with creativity. With her illustrations, she hopes to contribute to good laughs, nostalgia, vulnerability, transparency, and seeing the light in ourselves and others.



Black Caucus American Library Association Best of the Best 2023

"A quiet, thoughtful tale that promotes mindfulness, intentionality, gratitude, and connection." --Kirkus Reviews

"Moving... a reap-what-you-sow telling that considers what’s been given and what’s yet to come." --Publishers Weekly

"A beautiful ode to both the natural world and intergenerational cultural wisdom that imbues the sequential steps of planting a garden with a deeply felt spirituality." --The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books