Chapter 36
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Danika was a new editor in the publishing house. But when she was given the toddler’s book she felt bitter. She has studied at the University for Creative Writing for seven years and this was her first job?

Granted, the drawings were good. She could tell what the plant was by just looking at them. But she was yet to start reading the descriptions. Well, no sense stalling. She flipped a random page and began to read. 

Weeping Ambrosia:

This plant is found in the mountains. It has brown flecked dark green leaves. The leaves themselves can be made into tea. The roots are poisonous. The plant also has fruits that are very tasty and sweet. Perfect for jam. The fruits are berries.

Well, this was not what Danika has expected. It was straight and to the point so far. Without a legend to go with it. She was impressed that the child had had a steady hand while writing too. Her handwriting was pleasant to the eyes. She read further.

You have to grow it in rocky soil. Get some rocks and place them in a pot and then put some soul on top of them. The weeping ambrosia has to be watered every four days, not more times or fewer. The plant needs a lot of sunlight.

Danika was no plant expert so she flipped her copy of the encyclopedia Plantanica and read through the lengthy explanation. She yawned when she finished. She certainly didn’t need to know how big the roots can grow. She found she liked the short description much better. 

She read until the end of the day and then wrote her review. She was paid for a single day of reading, after all.

Theanore’s leafy friends and how to grow them: A book review by Danika Summers. 

The author, little two-year-old Theanore, has a passion for plant growing. It can be seen in the drawings she makes; in the descriptions, she writes. 

I will not lie. When I saw the title I expected the ramblings of a toddler about make-believe fairytales about plants. What I find was the careful and to-the-point explanation of said plants, their properties, and their growth patterns.

I double-checked with the encyclopedia Plantanica and found that the girl’s knowledge is even wider about the things that mattered in most cases. Take for example the description of the crimson clover.

In the encyclopedia Plantanica, the only thing given of note is that it can be used for weed suppression. But little Theanore also tells us that it is a cover crop. She even briefly touches on what a cover crop is for those of us who don’t have a green thumb like her. She tells us it is important to leave the plant to rot on top of the soil as a source of manure and that it is also a good feed for goats and giant hamsters.

Maybe the knowledge itself is a bit limited, as the girl is only two years old and has less livestock than grandpa Thinker. But she poured her little heart into this book and I recommend it as a good read. If for no other reason than because it is very informative and straight to the point.

Danika placed the book review and the notebooks in an envelope and ranged a bell. Nathan, the letter boy, came rushing in.

“Hey, Danika. You got your first job, right? Was it any good?” Asked Nathan as he was given the envelope.

“It was, especially if you are into farming. That little girl will replace grandpa Thinker as a household name one day. Mark my words.”

“Wow. Then I will surely buy a copy. Say, are you free after work?” Nathan had liked Danika from the first day she stepped inside the publishing house. Today was the day he worked up the courage to ask her out.

“We can grab some tea at a nice tea house down by the market, I suppose.” Said Danika. She was new in Mirstone and Nathan was easy on the eyes. She would like to see where this little date would go.

“Awesome! I know just the place: The Shiny Unicorn. They sell hot chocolate there too. You’ll like it.” Said Nathan as he got out with a bounce to his step. He bypassed the other waiting editors and went straight to Callan Perry’s office.

“A review from Danika Summers, Mister Perry.” Said Nathan and he placed the envelope on the table. Callan Perry looked at him. This boy was supposed to be an editor and reviewer by now, yet he was the letter boy. 

“Nathan, why are you still a letter boy?” Asked Callan Perry.

“Well, I used to be an editor back in Leesbrock, but I got fired because my reviews were too harsh. You don’t know how happy I am to still be working in the book publishing business.” Said Nathan, bowing his head.

“Too harsh? Tell me of things you reviewed.”

“Well, the most famous book I reviewed is Rare gems down the well. By grandpa Thinker. I didn’t see why he made a story into an encyclopedia. It was really boring, to be honest. But it was written by grandpa Thinker, so the chief editor wanted it published in our publishing house.” Said Nathan. He didn’t dare to touch on the key points of his review. He needed this job.

“Ah, yes. A boring read about a miner. This.” Said Callen Perry as he picked up the envelope. “Was written by a child. I feel that a woman like Danika might have seen it in a better light than it deserves. But you, someone unafraid by grandpa Thinker’s wrath, could do better. You have the next day to read and review, I don’t want to break the girl’s heart or waste my time reading a toddler’s ramblings. And remember: give an honest review, Nathan.”

Nathan took the envelope and clutched it to himself. On the one hand, he could hear the unspoken promise that if his review impressed he could become an editor here and be restored to his rightful place. But on the other hand, his relationship with Danika could be on the line. He could only be honest and darn the consequences. Maybe the next town over had a publishing house in need of a letter boy?