Leira Clara’s Flowers

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Leira Clara’s Flowers


In Leira Clara’s Flowers one little girl, Leira Clara, learns from her grandmother to love gardening and to share the happiness of gardening with others. Grandmother teaches Leira Clara that growing isn’t enough. “Flowers are to share,” Grandmother tells her. Leira Clara takes her advice to heart. When she returns to her flowerless yard at home, Leira Clara discovers that her parents do not garden because they believe they are too busy to grow and care for a garden. Leira Clara decides to take it upon herself to grow her own flowers and to share them with her neighbors and friends.

One of her neighbors, Mr. Thorney, presents a challenge to her plan. Mr. Thorney lives alone and seems to fiercely dislike children. From his window he often yells at the neighborhood children and their dogs. Only grass and bushes grow behind his picket fence—no flowers. Undaunted, Leira Clara is determined to share her joy with Mr. Thorney. The book demonstrates the ability of a child to understand that loneliness can lead to unhappiness and grumpiness and that gardening and flower-sharing have the power to heal and to open one’s heart to kindness, sharing, and happiness.

Leira Clara’s Flowers is a lyrical narrative based on positive psychology and choice theory, essentially about making choices that cultivate kindness. Passing down a love of nature from generation to generation also embeds the idea that multi-age levels work well together. Those familiar with the well-loved classic Miss Rumphius will love the similarities. The book combines social-emotional learning skills with a love of nature. In today’s environmentally challenged and increasingly busy world, fewer and fewer children are spending time outdoors. 

Leira Clara’s Flowers is delightfully illustrated in vibrant watercolors. 


Author Bio

Doris Settles

DORIS SETTLES learned to love gardening from both of her grandmothers. As an Extension Master Gardener in Kentucky, she has volunteered her time teaching others the joys of digging in the dirt. She chaired the Master Gardener Speakers Bureau for several years and speaks frequently to community groups. Her most recent book is Leira Clara’s Flowers. Settles is also the author of Understanding i-Kids (Pelican Publishing 2011),  Understanding i-Kids Classroom Workbook (Pelican Publishing 2012), and Prohibition in Bardstown: Bourbon, Bootlegging and Saloons (History Press 2016). Settles lives in Lexington, Kentucky, with her husband, Bill—and a quite spoiled Pomeranian—where she can be found digging in her garden and processing the fruits of her gardening labors.

Illustrator Bio

Dana McCall

Dana McCall, an eclectic self-taught artist from Winchester, Kentucky, enjoys painting in different media, including watercolor. Encouraged by her eighth-grade art teacher who saw a spark in her, McCall painted her first oil painting when she was thirteen years old. She believes that when someone has a piece of her art, they also have a piece of her heart. Leira Clara’s Flowers is her first children’s picture book. You can follow McCall’s artwork on Facebook @BrushStrokesByDana.

Advance Praise

“Doris Dearen Settles has written a very sweet story with a lovely message in lyrical prose. Like Leira Clara, my sister Susie planted colorful zinnias every year in order to share. I loved that. Nature is so important in the lives of our children, and fresh flowers bring the beauty and joy of nature indoors.”—Katy Moss Warner, President Emeritus, America Horticultural Society and Past President, America in Bloom

Additional information


Children’s Picture Book (Grades p-3)




$12.50 (34 pages, illustrated in vibrant watercolors)

Publication Date:

May 2022


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