A Dory Oslo Adventure

        by  Chrysa Smith  Illustrated by: Pat Achilles

Flowers, flowers, flowers everywhere. Chrysa Smith has written ‘The Upside-Down Gardener an early reader introducing chapters showing and telling the story of Dory and how this little girl is looking forward to Spring.  Dory’s mother had the idea for Dory to plant a garden and gave Dory some The Upside-Down Gardenerseeds.  Dory prays and prays for something to happen each day till something special happens in this city dwelling story.  My favorite illustrations are on page 13 where Dory is praying and on pages 24 and 25 showing the subway garden.  Pat has used various vivid colors along with a lot of various shapes and sizes for the flowers. Dory and her mother always have many ideas to make living fun.
Chrysa has written a picture chapter book that teaches patience even when Dory seems to has to learn.  It is a story that teaches charity in many ways.  Teachers could use this picture chapter book to introduce the basics of botany and maybe even the social services in some ways.  ‘The Upside-Down Gardener’ is a book that could lead to future gardens being planted and maybe even future occupations that will also teach readers to be more positive in all our endeavors in living and learning.


Dory Oslo is one tough city girl who just loves warm weather, smiles and baseball. But when it’s still cold outside and her mom suggests she start a garden, Dory is anything but interested. Begrudgingly, she plants some seeds. What happens next is frustrating, unusual, magical and perhaps a bit of fantasy as Dory’s garden and her life turn upside down—or does it? Find out in The Upside-Down Gardener

Determined city girl Dory Oslo, unwillingly agrees when her mom tells her she should plant a garden. How could something grow in their city plot with only a piece of sun shining above the buildings? Her determination to wake up those plants is strong and what follows is nothing short of a miracle. Only something highly unusual is happening, or is it? This story uses gardening as a tie-in to discussions about not giving up, trying something new, being a strong-minded girl and of course, the beauty of nature itself.

  • Book comes with a pack of easy-to-grow wildflower seeds to encourage the gardener in your young reader

Find the book HERE

About the Author

Chrysa Smith

Chrysa Smith is a double-decade writer who has turned a love for writing into loving what she writes, about–namely home, food, fashion, beauty and most recently, my pets.

Her work allows her to be a perennial student; always learning something new including navigating this world of children’s books.

It began in 2007 with her first book in The Adventures of the Poodle Posse series, followed by Once upon a Poodle. She has stepped out of her wheelhouse for the newest release, The Upside-Down Gardener,  having been inspired by a thwarted attempt at gardening.

Many hours are spent in classrooms, talking to kids about her love for writing and encouraging them to move forward with theirs.

For more information, visit:

About the Illustrator

Pat Achilles

The Well-bred Book
ISBN: 9781730777271
39 pages

As an illustrator, art director and designer Pat has created illustrations for children’s books, magazines, greeting cards and arts organizations for over 25 years. She has won awards in the Philadelphia Sketch Club’s Phillustration exhibits and has recently has several cartoons published in The New YorkerThe Upside-Down Gardener is the 7th book on which she and Chrysa Smith have collaborated.

For more information, visit:

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