John Spiers is a writer, artist, and guardian to a small flock of chickens who live in the center of his backyard garden. They frequently host visiting songbirds, especially wrens, who stop by their home in coastal Virginia.While he often produced small writing and drawing projects over the years, he never found his creative purpose until he decided to raise some baby chicks. They became the characters in his stories and the subjects of his drawings.His work seeks to share the same joy he feels when spending time with his amazing chickens under the camellias that surround their garden home. Each book contains “chicken wisdom” which he has learned from their remarkable lives and even words from the Chicken language.Along with sharing stories about his chickens, the author also enjoys hiding things in his illustrations. His chickens enjoy finding them, and perhaps you will too.


This book is a revision of our original first book title Seasons of Friendship. The color illustrations and individual story chapters which create a unified story make it a perfect book for bedtime reading.


Each Once Through a Garden Gate book has a full-page, black-and-white illustrations for every chapter. They are printed on high quality 50# white paper with an average length of 160 pages and an average reading level of 4th grade. Book and section titles are written in the Chicken language with translation.