Hopkinton native Sarah Woodard is passionate about the connectedness of all living things and hopes to help create a happier, healthier world for people, animals, insects, plants — everything — through her literary work and life journey.
“I believe children have the power to change the world,” Woodard said. “By publishing beautifully illustrated stories with important messages about living in harmony with the world around us, I hope to change the world one book and one reader at a time.”
Two of her newest children’s books, “The Little Lost Bee” and “Leila’s Goal,” recently received the distinguished Purple Dragonfly Book Award, both capturing an honorable mention in the Green/Environmental category in the worldwide book competition.
Her stories are targeted to ages 5-9. “The Little Lost Bee” tells the story of Bitsy, who gets confused after being sprayed with something and loses her way home to the hive until she’s rescued by a little boy. The reader learns all about bees and how to protect them. “Leila’s Goal” depicts a sweet fairy and her friends who ultimately want humans to understand they are poisoning the environment and everything in it, including themselves, through chemical spraying.
“I hope to encourage a whole generation to understand the world we live in, have respect for all life, and be inspired to take action,” Woodard said. “It is so important to give a voice to all things without a voice.”
Woodard’s characters are illustrated by artist Carlos López, who provides a magical, whimsical touch. Woodard loves that López’s designs are inspired after delving into her story, practicing yoga and meditating. In Woodard’s own creative process, she is open to and receives compelling messages the universe offers her for each new work.
Her passions and purpose grew organically out of childhood experiences. She grew up in a Jewish family — she knew of no others in Hopkinton — and at school she said she was often taunted, left out, ignored or misunderstood.
Something as simple as school holiday decorations became an issue when everything was Christian-focused, with representations of Santa Claus and Christmas trees. One empathic teacher walked Woodard to the cafeteria and empowered her to speak with the staff about it. The staff encouraged the youngster to create a banner celebrating Chanukah, which she did immediately, and the banner was proudly hung the next day. This was a transformative moment. Woodard realized the power of having a voice and speaking up when there had been no voice.
Woodard encourages connection to self, soul, spirit and the environment.
A multifaceted individual, Woodard also is a reiki master teacher, certified shamanic practitioner, animal lover and communicator, vegan, cat mom and chemical-free beekeeper. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with her cats, knitting and being in nature.
Now a New Hampshire resident, Woodard takes pride in her vegan, eco-friendly lifestyle and encourages others to examine their impact on the planet.