Allie Summers was born in San Francisco, California. She didn’t set out to be a children’s book author. It happened by chance. She was raised in San Francisco and left her hometown to attend college in San Diego, where she studied Human Development and European studies. She spent a year in Barcelona, Spain learning Spanish. After graduating from the University of California, San Diego she jetted off to Zurich, Switzerland in search of adventure. There she learned the German word “abenteuerlustig,” meaning adventurous; which she thought suited her perfectly.
Allie Summers lived in Zurich for 7 years. It was there that she was inspired to write her first children book, Gorilla Gardeners. At the time, Allie Summers was working in sustainability and writing her master’s thesis in International Business Management. One night when she should have been writing her thesis, her mind was wandering instead. That’s when the story came to her: A culmination of her travels, study of human development, love of animals, respect and mission for sustainability – all packed into magic for kids. A professional procrastinator, Allie Summers decided that her Master’s thesis could wait. It was the perfect time to write Gorilla Gardeners. And so she did.
The full book was written in one night. Many edits and illustrations later, Allie Summers released Gorilla Gardeners, an educational children’s book that teaches children about sustainability, responsibility, and the importance of caring for your own neighborhood. Now, unfortunately, Allie Summers is no illustrator. She likes to think of her self as creative. But, words are more her thing. Who could bring this story to life? The unbelievably talented children’s book illustrator Lidia Steiner swooped in to grow the story with her drawings. We have all heard it before, but let’s say it again because it is so true: Illustrations bring a story to life. Lidia Steiner makes the magic of the story real.
Oddly, Allie Summers wrote the educational story before having children of her own. However, she only published Gorilla Gardeners after giving birth to her second daughter in San Francisco. She was approving the last drawings from the hospital bed with her newborn in tow. Allie Summers’ says that publishing after having children gave her insider insight into the art of reading to children and educating children through books.
Gorilla Gardeners is Allie Summers’ first children book. She is not opposed to writing another story, but it has to come to her. It can’t be forced.
Photography courtesy of Suzanna Scott and mothermag.com