Serendipitously, Andrew Kranichfeld called me / my library recently about a book he wrote to honor his mother who inspired him with her love of gardening. He was hoping to come and read the book to Pre-K through 1st graders. The book is short, sweet, purposeful, and self-published. While telling me about Karen’s Garden, Andrew told me his personal story... that he wrote the book after his mother died...and after he lost his sight (a very abbreviated version of his story). I asked what seemed to me to be the impossible of him- if he could come in one week’s time at very specific times to enrich the 4th Grade Inspirational Unit. As I quickly came to learn, Andrew doesn’t think in terms of impossibilities but thinks only of possibilities! He came and he mesmerized us all!
Andrew’s book, Karen’s Garden, is a bright, engaging, and inspiring story- a wonderfully warm and vibrant tribute to his mom and the perfect starting point for Andrew’s presentation on inspiration! Andrew is one to “pay-it-forward” as he did with the words of his book and as he does through his daily actions. A true adventurer doesn’t begin to describe Andrew’s mindset and ‘can do’ spirit! Having Andrew Kranichfeld visit with the fourth graders was the end-point and the highlight of their unit on Inspiration. Andrew was so enthusiastic, passionate about what he holds dear, and articulated his life experiences so clearly and thoughtfully.
He truly inspired me and the RCDS Fourth Graders in a myriad of ways.
Lower School Librarian
Rye Country Day School
Andrew’s visit with our Early Learning students was well received by both the students and the faculty.
Andrew talked about his inspiration for his book, the benefits of gardening, and a bit about the writing process.
Some highlights were when he shared the gadgets that he uses in his everyday life and when he played the piano.
He was enthusiastic about answering the many questions that the students posed to him.
Rebecca Mintz Greller
Early Learning Director
Riverdale Country School
Andrew Kranichfeld, the author of Karen’s Garden, visited our primary students last spring during our Earth Day celebration. As a Montessori school we try to teach our students to appreciate and value nature and the world around them. his book, and its themes of family, nature, and gardening,tied in perfectly with our Green school and healthy eating initiatives.
The book by itself is uplifting and inspirational but meeting Andrew was especially inspiring to teachers, parents, and students. His positive outlook on life, despite overcoming cancer and adapting to blindness, was contagious. He makes his audience feel comfortable and encourages participation. When my students were writing him thank you cards,one child was wandering around the room with his eyes closed. When I asked what he was doing he said he wanted “to see how it would feel to be blind”. I almost cried at the sentiment and compassion that Mr. Kranichfeld inspired in my students. We look forward to him visiting our school again.
Sarah A. Bannat
Primary Montessori Grade Level and green school Chair
John Hanson Montessori School