The Woods of Wicomico by Nuala C. Galbari

During the hot, lazy days of summer, life in the woods of Wicomico is peaceful. Mukki the muskrat makes herbal teas, Cornelius the crow fruitlessly tries to take a midday nap, and young Timothy Trumble the tortoise marvels at the world around him. But when humans plan to build a new development in their woodland, the community of animals springs into action to save their homes.

Join a host of loveable characters as they work together to stop the destruction of the Wicomico woodland and preserve their way of life. Travel with them on the Chesapeake Bay, where they meet new friends and find a bright world outside the Wicomico woods. After an ample share of excitement, they learn that small animals can make a difference and discover that plenty of wisdom can be found right at home.

Songs, vocabulary, and fun facts about the history and wildlife of the Chesapeake Bay, makeThe Woods of Wicomico a delightful educational experience for the whole family. This imaginative, richly illustrated, story invites us all to discover, enjoy, and preserve the natural world around us.

Nuala Author PhotoWEB

About the Author

Nuala Galbari was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, the daughter of a Royal Navy Lieutenant-Commander. She studied hospitality management at the Belfast College of Business Studies and later moved to London to pursue a career in aviation. After attending Normandale College and the Minnesota School of Business, she joined the
editorial staff of a Minnesota advertising agency.  She has contributed articles and stories toPleasant Living magazine, and writes regularly for Airways magazine. She lives in

Woods Illustrator WEB

About the Illustrator

Buttons Boggs is an illustrator, portrait painter, muralist, sculptor, writer and book artist. She has been an artist / writer-in-residence in schools in King William County, Petersburg, Norfolk, Virginia Beach and Richmond, Virginia. She is the author and illustrator of Noah and the Ark as Told by Unkle Ernie. Some of the books she’s illustrated include Lily of St. Lukes: The Blessing of the Animals written by Fran Olsen, River Rats written by Ralph Christopher, and The Monarch’s Feast, from the family and friends of the Mary Munford School. She has a daughter, Belle, son, Sky, and son-in-law, Richard. She lives in beautiful downtown Walkerton, Virginia with her husband Terry, dogs Maggi and Griffin, a very old cat, Mischief, and an adopted feral colony of Hemingway cats.


Praise for The Woods of Wicomico

“Home is worth defending and dying for for many. The Woods of Wicomico tells the story of the animals of the Wicomico woods and their serene lives as they are threatened by human development. As they work together to oppose this development, they learn the power of teamwork, and no matter how small and powerless one is, they can become something greater. The Woods of Wicomico is a charming read, highly recommended.”

Midwest Book Review


“Children will be captivated when they meet Timothy the tortoise, Octavious the osprey, Grahame the groundhog and their friends of various species, all dwelling in the woods of Wicomico. Nuala Galbari has written, and Buttons Boggs has illustrated, a narrative that’s up-to-the minute in its environmental message, but timeless in its ability to bring animals to vital life as distinct individuals. Best of all, through its sparkling vocabulary, and original songs and lyrics, this book invites an engaged and creative response on the part of its young readers.”
-Barbara J. King, author of Being with Animals


“Nuala Galbari’s The Woods of Wicomico is a winner out of the gate. It expresses her powerful concern for the Chesapeake Bay environment, and is alive with endearing and expertly animated wildlife characters. The poem ‘Victus Astrum’ (‘Shining Star’) can easily bring a tear of concern and the awareness for action to the heart and mind of anyone reading this excellent book. Children will love it. I truly hope Nuala will consider expanding her effort into a powerful series covering the full ecosystem.”
-Jim Welch, CEO
IPAC Marine Environmental Research Corp, (a concerned nonprofit corporation)


“As a parent and grandparent reading The Woods of Wicomico to a young child, one soon begins to relive one’s own childhood. The cast of animal characters become real as they plan on recovering their woodland home, causing one to ponder the fate of our own wild woodlands today – indeed the very fate of our planet as we face increasing pollution and overpopulation. The Woods of Wicomico is a book not only for tomorrow’s generation of occupants – our children and grandchildren – but also for us as adults. What are we to learn from the voices of Wicomico’s animals?  Such abstract concepts as time, duty and responsibility, as taught by old Cornelius the crow to Timothy Trumble the tortoise, apply to all of us today.
Only we can make this, our Earth, a better place.”
-David L. Justis, M.D., Ph.D


“The author has woven together a story combining wit, charm and imagination with the rich natural abundance of Virginia’s Bay and woodlands. She imbues a deep sense of place to this small patch of woods, rooted in nature and history, and crafts a compelling and timely message about protecting these special places before they are lost. Though intended as a children’s story, it embraces themes of connections with nature and our past that we should all appreciate, and does so with elegant prose and lavish illustrations that everyone can enjoy.”
-Thane Harpole, co-director, Fairfield Foundation


“Animal lore guarantees a flight-path into any child’s heart and imagination, and Nuala Galbari and Buttons Boggs have, through the artful interweaving of narrative, song and illustration, provided a fanciful passage connecting sky, sea and land in an entertaining force of nature. No child should be denied the opportunity of meeting the wondrous allegorical community of Wicomico, and as the reader is swept along on a mission to save the woods of Wicomico, we discover the environs of York River and Chesapeake Bay playing an equally central role in the drama. Ms. Galbari proves a consummate fablist delivering a story rich in simple metaphor, positioning markers of moral direction at comprehensible levels for even the youngest of readers. The Woods of Wicomico is reason enough to celebrate as the spirit of Potter, Aesop and Orwell live on in Ms. Galbari and her meaningful menagerie!”
-Phillip M. Church, Assoc. Professor, Dept of Theatre, Florida International University

“I have read The Woods of Wicomico; and, it touches a chord in my heart. Very few other books that I have read create such beautiful imagery for me of the wonders of nature and the fragility of our environment. Yet, the book leaves me feeling so spiritually refreshed ~ that their “home,” the Wicomico woodlands, can be saved. Nuala Galbari writes this exuberant, humorous, fanciful yarn, about the adventures of various creatures, great and small, who strive to save their homeland in Virginia. She tells the tale from the animals’ points of view, and through her own touching composed songs and lyrics. The book has splendid illustrations, generously distributed throughout. You just can’t stop turning the pages until you have finished the book; and, That is a rarity today. This book is a true gem ~ to be discovered by all ages, young and old alike!”

-AbDuMt on


“It is getting increasingly difficult to find great modern literature for children. That’s why this book is so refreshing. It is well written and beautifully illustrated. It is intelligent and perceptive in its approach to developing environmental consciousness in children. Children will experience the damage done by “development.” What we often see as “development” is short sighted business decisions that frequently cause far reaching environmental and social damage. This book goes a long way toward helping our children develop an environmental awareness that will change the destructive path on which we now find ourselves. We need more books like this one!”

-Charles Croft on


“The Woods of Wicomico is an excellent book and a valuable resource for any parent (although it is a great read for adults as well!)

“Beyond an engaging story and numerous, beautiful illustrations there are also the many extras that are not found in most books, making this one book a unit study in itself. As a homeschooling teacher, I seek out “living books” that captivate and engage the children, that make the subject material come alive. When using this book, instead of hearing the textbook-weary “are we done for the day yet?” I am repeatedly begged “can we hear just one more chapter, please?”

“I would highly recommend this book to anyone who cares about the world we have been entrusted with, for children of all ages.”

-CreationKeeper on


“The Woods of Wicomico slowly enrobes the reader in a simple tale that develops into an adventure where new friends and woodland stories beckon. Children will enjoy learning of the animals’ travails and struggles to protect their homeland. In addition, the songs of Wicomico are musically transcribed onto the page for the enjoyment of those who would like to share in the celebrations.

“For older children (adults), sub-plots arise and intertwine throughout the tale; locals in the Wicomico-Yorktown area will recognize many familiar characters and places portrayed in a different light. A wonderful adventure awaits. As you turn the last page, you may find it difficult to say goodbye to newfound beloved friends.  Such is the charm of The Woods of Wicomico.”

-Gregory Stringfield on

“This was such a refreshing read, just a real treat! The seriousness of the task before the residents of the Wicomico woodlands is offset by the alacrity with which they rise to the occasion. Everyone contributes something, no matter how small or insignificant, and in the end everyone takes ownership. This is an example of true teamwork and Ms. Galibari captures it magnificently with her thoughtful, inspired, and masterful unfolding of this story of a supposedly vulnerable cast of characters overcoming seemingly unsurmountable odds associated with what humans call development and our animal friends experience as wanton destruction of a finite resource, land.

“Children will be exposed to a deep appreciation of animals and their habitat, and the indisputable fact that animals enhance the planet for the greater good of all creatures. The plot’s twists and turns will keep children on the edge of their chairs, and in the end, romp with merriment to the music so graciously provided by Ms. Galibari.

“I heartily and warmly endorse this book for any reader, young or old, who wants to capture the magic of the natural world.”

-Walter J. Seibert on