This month’s KidsGarden News is all about literacy and the garden. So, what better time to continue talking about great children’s books featuring the garden? Last week, Sarah wrote about four books she recommends for folks who garden with kids. I’m going to focus on books to read to kids or that they can read themselves.
My kids are 4 and 7. Our house is filled with books and we spend a lot of time at the library. Our family of four has four library cards, and at any one time of the month, at least one is maxed out on its borrowing limit of 30 items.
Here are a few of our family favorites, but please share yours with me too below in the comments so I can go grab them from the library.
Frog and Toad Together, Arnold Lobel
If there was a Frog and Toad fan club, I might just be the president. These books are great for early readers, or for kids who like to be read to. The chapter called “The Garden” has Frog giving seeds to Toad so he can plant his own garden. Toad expects immediate results, and shouts at the seeds to “START GROWING!” This would be a great one to read as you sow seeds in spring to remind kids to be patient with their garden.
Bee & Me, Alison Jay
This is a wordless picture book about a city child who befriends a bee after initially being frightened of being stung. The bee misses flowers, though, so they adventure to a rural area to gather seeds to sprinkle around the city. Many children in the city are delighted to see the pollinators that visit the plants. At the end of the book, there are some tips on planting for bees as well as other ways to help them. This would be a good choice before planting a pollinator garden, or perhaps for a child who is fearful of bees.
Miss Maple’s Seeds, Eliza Wheeler
This is a sweet and gentle story about a bird-sized woman who cares for seeds over the winter until it’s time for them to start their journey by wind, water, or soil. It would be a good choice for younger kids who like to take care of things (think babies or stuffed animals), perhaps when you start seeds indoors.
Du Iz Tak?, Carson Ellis
I love this book. It’s a fantastic read-aloud, and you should get it from the library or book store immediately. It’s written in a made-up language, but the syntax is the same as English. The book follows insects in their discovery of a plant and how it changes throughout the growing season. It’s fun for all ages, but would be a hoot to include in a grammar or language study unit for older elementary school students. Be prepared for the preschool set to want to read this one over and over. You probably won’t mind.
Zoey and Sassafras: The Pod and The Bog, Asia Citro
Zoey and Sassafrass is a chapter-book series that my rising second-grader recently got into. It’s about a girl who helps magical creatures. It’s charming and adorable and super STEM-focused. All the books have Zoey solving a natural-world problem using science, but this one is specifically about what a plant needs. My preschooler loves to listen to these as well, so you don’t have to wait on this great series until you have a reader! These would be a great when introducing experiments or this book specifically would be great when studying pollination. (The link in the beginning of this paragraph goes to a site with loads of activities for the first three books in the series.)
In addition to these, be sure to check out our Read in the Garden activity for more book suggestions, as well as our lesson plans for the books Oliver's Vegetables and Seedfolks.