I am Leila - the Laughing Linnet! I have been told I should write a little about myself... so, here it is!
I grew up in Britain, and after a winding career as a Medical Herbalist, Educator and Medical Doctor, I took a career break to marry, travel and raise my daughter.
That being done, I rekindled my loves of writing, poetry, nature and art to found Laughing Linnet Publications and the Young Explorers' Nature Nook.
I backpacked for two months through nine countries across Scandinavia and Europe; I have visited the Arctic Circle, India, Seychelles and Persia... I have also lived in England, Orkney, Wales, Ireland, Italy, India, Iran and Denmark... so, I have seen a lot of amazing Natural Wonders and Beauty because of this.
Pictures and Photos
All of the pictures and photos in the books and on the site were all drawn by me or taken on my travels
How did I get my nickname?
During a mentoring team building weekend, we had to create a nickname for our colleagues to help us remember their names. One word had to be an animal or bird; the second word had to be an adjective; and, they both had to start with the first letter of our name. So, my colleagues called me the Laughing Linnet and the name stuck with me ever more!
About the Nook
The idea of the Nature Nook came after seeing my own Little Explorer playing and interacting with Nature.
A Toddler's Adventures
I began creating Nature-inspired activity books and stories using her own toys and adventures in an attempt to continue her interest and inspire further explorations and adventures in the world outside.
My idea worked - we would read about Bhalu's adventures, naming the flowers, bugs, birds, trees and animals he encountered on his way; we would join in with Bobbin as he played in the garden - then we would go outside ourselves and see what we could play.
A Toddler's Achievements
My reward came one day in the park when at 18 months old, she pointed and said "Mama, Magpie! Kak, kak, kak!"
Now she runs to hug the trees, knows the words for leaf and bark; knows the cuckoo, the magpie, the crow, wood pigeon and blue tit; knows ladybirds and ants and worms... I thought this was normal - surely all kids must know these things?
Sadly, I realised, not. The older children in the playground were completely oblivious to the world around them. Even my own peers did not have a clue when I excitedly pointed out a jay mocking us, or spent 5 minutes examining a plant I did not recognise.
The Lost Words
Then, I discovered The Lost Words and the history behind it. How could someone just delete the names of living creatures? Creatures who were not even extinct? It was as if they no longer existed... and yet, they are living right beside us.
I finally realised - I had to Act. I did not want my children to grow up and be mocked by their peers for their inquisitiveness and their adventurous spirits. I did not want them mocked for their excitement at discovering the world around them.... I wanted their peers to be excited and inquisitive too.
So, I conceived The Nature Nook. A place where children of all ages can come and learn and play and explore. Where they can discover and be inspired, where they can let loose their inquisitiveness and learn to connect with their amazing world. Where they can find child and family friendly Nature Activities - A space entirely devoted to Nature Activities for Kids.
So I thank you for finding YOUR way to The Nature Nook and hope it can inspire and encourage YOU too.