When does that gardening itch begin for you? For me, it’s in the coldest of winter, when the snow is falling, and when I haven’t seen the dirt for months. That’s when I start thinking about seeds and flowers, about bees, and fresh strawberries.
We’ve been exploring our library’s shelves for kids books about spring and gardening lately. Below is a collection of notable books we’ve enjoyed on the subject of springtime, gardening, and growing green lives.
Use these books as part of your homeschooling curriculum, for bedtime reading, or just cuddle up and enjoy the illustrations. Either way, even when it’s cold and snowy, you and your kids can open a book and feel the warmth of spring.
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by Julia Rawlinson & Tiphanie Beeke
Have you ever walked through an orchard in the springtime? The flowers, petals strewn all around, buzzing bees, and that smell! This sweet book is all about one little fox’s mistake when he finds the blooming orchard. He gets his little friends all excited and worried and they must warn the others that perhaps spring has not arrived… or has it?
My toddler’s favourite part of this story is the page with all the glittery blossoms and leaves.
by Julie Fogliano & Erin E. Stead
Gardening can give us such a pleasurable sense of anticipation. In this story a young boy eagerly awaits the brown to leave and finally meet the new life he’s introduced to the newly warmed earth. We particularly enjoyed the illustrations in this book. The pictures are full of emotion and leave much for the eyes and mind to ponder.
by Peter Brown
You’ll love the message in this book. It’s all about a boy’s small action and how it had huge impact in his community… making a grey city green. Gorilla gardening at its best. Perhaps this book might inspire your young readers to plant a little green in your own lives. I strongly encourage you to pick up this book.
by Louis Ehlert
Springtime is rarely boring. Bold colors start to appear almost everywhere after the dreary thaw. Elhert’s illustrations mimic that color awakening in her simple story of gardening. This story is appropriate for toddlers or even younger babies. The one we borrowed from the library was a large, durable board book. The text is minimal, but the colors pop. The pages at the end of the book vary in size adding some excitement to learning the colors that each plant group represents. Because of this, it also makes a good selection for color learning and identification.
by Lynne Cherry
When I was young, my mom and I always planted a garden. We also lived out in the country and unwillingly had to share our garden with the local groundhogs. Maybe this is why I enjoyed the story line of this book. In Cherry’s story, the little groundhog is taught how to grow his own garden so that he stops stealing from other people’s gardens.
As I read, I was increasingly surprised by how detailed the garden growing instructions were. The book is a child’s picture story book, yet, it is actually a great primer for anyone wanting to start a garden. The squirrel teaches groundhog about seed saving, plant placement, over-crowding, pesticides, and pollination all the way to harvesting.
At the end of the book, groundhog’s harvest is so abundant that he even hosts a Thanksgiving feast to share the bounty.
by Jan Gerardi
If you’re looking for a board book for toddlers, this is the one. It’s small and fits well in small hands. There are little flaps for little hands to open and lots of bright colours and pictures. This book is all about everything they’ll need to help grow a garden.
by Bonnie Worth & Aristides Ruiz
Who wouldn’t want to garden with Cat in the Hat and his Thing One and Two helpers? This book stays true to Dr. Seuss’s rhyming style. However, the content is much more technical and teaches the reader all about seed dispersion, photosynthesis, and plant growth. Because of this it is appropriate for older kids, perhaps kindergarten to grade 3. This book would make a good addition to gardening and plant planned curriculum or self-learning.
by Kevin Henkes
I bet when you were young did you dream about growing candy trees and lollypop flowers? Well, the little girl is this book explores this idea while she’s out in the garden one day. My daughter enjoys the imagination and playfulness of this book. Who knows, maybe it will encourage your little ones to do a few experiments this summer in the garden?
by Maxine Anderson
This book isn’t a standard kid’s picture book. Instead, it’s a guide full of activities to do for learning about spring and all the life and science that happens this time of year. Because spring and gardening go together, many of the activities or suggested science experiments involve seeds and plants. There’s lots of information on baby animals, migrating species, the weather, and more. It has a few entertaining characters who guide you through this learning.
This book would make a good addition to home learning or to the preschool, kindergarten, and grade one classroom.
Books are an easy and quick way to bring more nature into your family’s day. Hopefully some of these selections will also prompt some additional activities like crafts, science experiments, and gardening! Maybe you and your kids could sketch out the garden, purchase some seeds, or even start some seeds indoors to move out when the soil warms up enough.
If connecting your family to nature is something which interests you, you may want to join the easy, free, 5 day mini-course on increasing family nature connections. You’ll be challenged each day with a different themed nature activity. At the end of the week your family will have become more aware of nature, brought nature into the home, connected a little more with nature, and hopefully enjoyed an adventure outdoors. You can read all about the connecting with nature mini-challenge here.
Lastly, if your family loves books, you may want to check out these other book lists from Take Them Outside:
- Awesome Insect Books to Get Your Kids Excited About Bugs
- Short and Fun Audiobooks for the Whole Family to Enjoy