The Fixer Upper alum worked on the gardening-themed picture book with her kids. Check out our exclusive clip of them reading it!

By Karen Cicero
Courtesy of HarperCollins

March 25, 2019

Joanna Gaines can now add one more credit to her long list of accomplishments—children’s book author. The Fixer Upper alum and mom of five wrote We Are The Gardeners, which will be available on March 26. The book sweetly chronicles the story of how the family garden came to life, beginning with a fern brought home from the hardware store.

In an exclusive interview with Parents.com, Gaines spoke about how her children were involved in the book, how she surprised her husband Chip, and her summer plans.

Your kids received an author credit for the book. How did they help?

I try to involve my kids in my projects. For my cookbook, for instance, the kids were taste testers. Ella, my oldest daughter, mentioned that we should write a children’s book sometime. I asked her what she thought kids would like to read about, and we landed on gardening. Ella chose the illustrator, Julianna Swaney, from some options we had. Drake, Duke, and Emmie gave their opinions on the storyline. I’d ask, “Is this boring? What would make it more interesting?”

And the kids read the audio book, too?

Yes! We had so fun much doing that. Duke, my 11-year-old, was really cute with the one-liners and reading sentences with an exclamation point. I was surprised to hear Drake’s voice—he sounded like an adult! And you can even hear baby Crew. At first, he just wanted to eat the microphone. But then he cooed. Like Chip, he takes advantage of the moment he gets to say something.

Listen to an exclusive clip from the audiobook.

Speaking of Chip, the book is dedicated to him.

He didn’t know until the final manuscript. We wanted to surprise him! He thought the dedication was very sweet. It says, “To Our Dad: You have taught us that we can do hard things and never give up, even when we fail.” That mindset keeps us going!

What are your summer plans?

I’m a homebody. When we go on vacation, it’s usually because Chip surprises me. Chip is the funny, spontaneous one. I just love being home. And I love the rhythm of summer on the farm.

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