Cate and the Garden Bandits

Cate and the Garden Bandits


A garden-tending butterfly and her charismatic bug besties learn valuable lessons about the interconnectedness of Mother Nature in Cate and the Garden Bandits, the second children's story from author Betsy Coffeen, with vibrant illustrations by Ginger Seehafer.


The story begins when Cate, a curious and compassionate butterfly, is jostled out of a daydream and finds herself face-to-face with a fuzzy stranger, who buzzes away before the two have a chance to chat. When Cate notices that the flower petals are missing from her garden, she begins to wonder if the bumblebee is stealing the petals!


Cate is taken on an adventure to an opening in a maple tree " all to find out that this mysterious and somewhat frightening bumblebee is not a thief at all but rather a kind-hearted creature who needs the petals to feed his family. Cate also learns that the flower-hopping "bandit" pollinates the plants to help them grow stronger and more beautiful.


"Cate and the Garden Bandits highlights the importance of interdependence and inclusion. In our ever-growing global world, these are becoming more and more important themes, where every individual counts and is equal in value," Coffeen said.


Intended for elementary school-age children, Cate and the Garden Bandits incorporates general science facts to drive home the impact that the world's tiniest creatures have on the survival of the planet. The story also introduces more challenging vocabulary words for enrichment and to accommodate the learning loss that occurred during the early days of the pandemic.


"Children are so teachable at this age. Research has consistently demonstrated the importance of early childhood, from birth to age 6, as the most formative years," Coffeen said in an interview with Story Monsters Ink magazine. "If we can teach young children how our world and everything in it is interconnected along with this concept of empathy, it will help create a kinder future world."


About the Author

Betsy Coffeen is an author, mom, philanthropist and lifelong learner. As a child, she spent many hours in her room writing stories that she published under her own press. She attended the University of Arizona, where she earned her bachelor's degree in psychology, and returned to school during the pandemic to finish her Master of Science degree in psychology from ASU.


Coffeen spent the last two decades of her life raising her three children and volunteering for Childhelp, a national nonprofit aimed at preventing and treating child abuse and neglect. She held many board positions and fundraising roles and was honored with the Childhelp Helping Hand Award for her decades of dedication to philanthropy. When she is not writing, running or practicing yoga, she enjoys spending time at home with her teenage children, husband, two dogs and cat.


About the Illustrator

Ginger Seehafer is a commercial illustrator who resides and works in the Chicago suburbs. She loves working from her home studio, surrounded by her family, friends and her crew of pets. Ginger enjoys volunteering and teaching local students how to create art for themselves when she isn't working on commercial storyboards.


Cate and the Garden Bandits

Publisher: Story Monsters Press, an imprint of Story Monsters LLC

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Review: Enchanting tale of a butterfly and bumblebee with a beautiful story that underlines their purpose in nature.


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