One of Doss Margiotta favorite lessons for her kindergarten students was the importance of worms and how to rescue them from driveways and sidewalks after a rain.
“I’d tell kids that I pick up worms from the driveway and put them in the garden,” Margiotta said. She said that worms like to travel above ground during rain storms, but often get stranded on concrete surfaces, unable to return to the dirt before the sun bakes them.
“The book was always in my head, but I didn’t have time to do it,” she said. She wrote “Molly Green Loves Worms” after she retired from teaching in 2008.
Margiotta said she loved teaching at Lindbergh and was reluctant to retire, but she spend more time with her mother who was in poor health. She joked that it was also getting harder to sit on the floor with her young students once she hit a certain age.
She created the character "Molly Green" because she always wanted a daughter.
“I always wanted a girl, but I have boys and grandsons. So I invented her,” she said.
The book writing process was tougher than she thought. After writing the story and copywriting it, she needed to find an illustrator. She found a retired Lindbergh art teacher, Pat Nagy, to do the illustrations.
“Then you have to find somebody to publish it,” she said. “Millions send manuscripts to New York and nothing happens. You have to self-publish,” she said. A friend of her husband recommend a local publisher, Monograph, to prepare the book.
“They loved the book and they’ve been a joy to work with,” she said. The only problem with self publishing is that Margiotta had to pay for the printing first. “I only have to sell 600 to get my money back.”
So far Margiotta has sold about 200 copies since the book came out in October, mostly with the help of former students and their parents who are her biggest fan group. They had a kickoff cocktail party and will have a book signing December 15th at the Oak Bend branch of the St. Louis County Public Library from 9 a.m. to noon.
Margiotta said the library won’t let them sell books at the signing, so anyone who wants a signed copy needs to get their book in advance. The book can be found at the Ladue Pharmacy and online at Monograph, which is based in Eureka.
Molly Green will have more adventures. She’s already planning a second book were Molly will learn about turtles.