Good Books to Read About Growing Things

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The growing season is about to take off, so let’s explore books with our kids about gardening and growing things.

Recently, I was reminded at how much my children love books — and love being read to! I ordered a copy of one of my favorite books ever (not sure why we didn’t already own it) and you should have seen the girls’ eyes light up. FishChick3 has been reenacting the story for days.

Clearly, stories help kids learn about the world and increase their vocabulary. So, it’s in our best interests to read them some good books.

Since the growing season is about to take off, let’s explore books about gardening and growing things. My kids have always been fascinated by seeds and plants. I bet yours are, too.

(And head’s up! If you make a purchase through any Amazon links, I do receive a small percentage of the sale.)

Here are some of our favorites:

How a Seed Grows by Helen J Jordan – I love the “Let’s Read and Find Out Science” Series. The illustrated picture books do a great job explaining to kids about all areas of science. This book is no different as it explores what happens to a seed as it grows.

The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss – This classic book demonstrates the faithfulness and hopefulness of childhood. The little boy plants a tiny carrot seed that no one else thinks will grow. But, he faithfully waters it and voila! Buy some carrots with their tops so your kids can see what the little boy really grew.

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett – We read this story several years ago for a school assignment. I knew that once my boys took one look at this kind of cover, they’d judge it clearly a girly book. Luckily, our library copy was a simple green. My oldest was suspicious when I wouldn’t tell him much about the book. Rather, I framed it as a mystery: what’s the secret of the garden. They were enthralled by the story. It is a fabulous family read aloud.

Which just goes to show you that you can’t judge a book by its cover.

Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney – I love, love, LOVE the stories and illustrations of Barbara Cooney. They are some of my very favorite.. This one tells the story of the real Miss Rumphius who traveled the world, planting lupines wherever she went.

The Magic School Bus Plants Seeds by Joanna Cole – My boys have always loved the Magic School Bus series. They are a little more difficult to read aloud than other storybooks; I don’t like reading comic strips aloud. So, feel free to do what I do and read the main text, leaving the comic strip dialogue for your independent readers.

 Got a favorite book about plants, seeds, or gardens?

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  1. Thanks so much for the book suggestions. I had to laugh when I read your comment about the Magic School Bus books, because I have always thought they were hard to read out loud too. I try to skip the comic strip part but my kids want me to read it, which makes the story seem disjointed. Good informational books, though.

  2. Great books. My kids and I also loved Miss Jasper’s Garden by N.M. Bodecker.

    And to help everyone get in the action, I highly recommend Roots, Shoots, Buckets And Boots; Gardening Together With Kids. It has some great projects for making a garden kid-friendly!

  3. I just bought my 10 year old daughter “My Secret Garden” at the yard sale for $.50. It is a classic and she hasn’t been able to put it down. Thanks for mentioning it!

  4. Miss Rumphius is one of my favorites. Some good ones we’ve found at our library – Wanda’s Roses by Pat Brisson and Jody’s Beans by Malachy Doyle.

  5. City Green is a cute book about using a vacant lot in the city to grow a neighborhood garden, and finding out a grumpy neighbor isn’t really all that unkind after all.

  6. My children loved Bread and Jam for Francis. It always made me hungry!

    Since our children are older we like to use The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible. It’s a great resource for finding out which plants are good companions, how to make compost, get rid of bugs, etc.

  7. If you have not yet read it, The Gardener by Sarah Stewart is just wonderful. It is about a little girl who is sent to live with her grumpy uncle who own a bakery durring the Great Depression (if I remember correctly) and her letters home to her parents in the country. I acually cried at the end of it because it so reminded me of myself when at college writing home to my Mom. We always get it from the library but I really need to purchase it for myself. 🙂

  8. Thanks for the book ideas! I may look them up in our library so we can read over them.
    I really enjoyed the Secret Garden as a kid. Owned a VHS version of it too and totally had a crush on Dicken, haha.

  9. The Lorax seriously shaped my own life as a gardener and lover of all things that grow-it shows what can happen if things ceased to grow. It is a must have for any child’s library.

  10. “The Curious Garden” by Peter Brown has become my all-time favorite children’s picture book. It is about a little boy who discovers a patch of wildflowers on an old abandoned railroad in the middle of an ugly, stark city. With much dedication and a little trial and error, he grows the patch to an amazing garden that takes over the city physically and the spirit of the city dwellers as well. Gorgeously illustrated, I read it to my kids every spring as we begin to garden.

  11. We went to my daughters two year check up shortly after reading this post in my inbox, and they gave her a copy of The Carrot Seed. I was so excited I think the nurse practitioner thinks I’m a loon now. Oh well. We are happy.

  12. Sunflower House by Eve Bunting is a great book about sunflowers and a child’s imagination. My kindergartners LOVE it! We use it to talk about describing words and then write describing words on the petals of a sunflower outline.