List of Gardening Books reviewed by Carrie Anne
With April comes Spring, and of course, with Spring comes thoughts of warmer weather, the environment and Earth Day. Spending time outside in the garden is a perfect way for my kids to understand the life cycle of plants and how we as people impact that cycle. It may be too early to start gardening (we can’t start until the end of May) but learning and planning and preparing your outside space can happen now that the temperature is warmer and the sun is out longer. Here are a few books to get you and your kids ready to explore the garden and plants in your backyard.
Seeds! Seeds! Seeds!
by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace
picture book (age 3-7)
published by Marshall Cavendish
Buddy Bear receives a package from his Gramps; five bags, tagged and tied with string. So, each day Buddy Bear opens one bag to find a seed activity his Gramps has created as a way to celebrate the arrival of Spring, including creating a seed collection. The illustrations are paper collages with the exception of the seeds, which are photographs. Consequently, the seed photographs give kids a great reference to the different seeds in common foods tey probably eat. The activities created by Buddy Bear’s Gramps could be recreated for your own gardening season countdown.
Zinnia’s Flower Garden
by Monica Wellington
Picture Book (4-7)
published by Culton Children’s Books (a PenquindivisPenguin)
Spring is here and Zinnia is getting her garden ready. So, she prepares the soil, plants the seeds, waters and watches it grow. Even in the Summer, Fall and Winter there is always something about the garden for Zinnia to enjoy. Created like a garden journal, therefore, the day’s entry appears on the left with a large image of Zinnia and her garden on the right. While the illustrations are simple and colorful, the book also includes photographs of actual flowers and plants. On the left journal side of the book, you’ll also find a few visual references to key garden vocabulary. If you’re starting a garden in Spring, Zinnia’s Flower Garden is a great book talking about the stages a garden goes through and even includes some reference dates during certain stages of gardening during the year.
Up, Down, and Around
written by Kathrine Ayres, illustrated by Nadine Bernard Westcott
picture book (3-5)
published by Candlewick Press
Corn grows up. Carrots grow down. Cucumbers climb around and around. Kids will enjoy this catchy rhyming story as it explores with a family how different plants grow in their garden: up, down, and around. Consequently, kids will learn a variety of plant names and how they grow (as in above ground or below). The words are simple and limited and the illustrations fill the page. In conclusion, the book ends with the family enjoying the rewards of their garden for lunch.
Seeds Sprout! (I Like Plants!)
by Mary Dodson Wade
picture book (4-8)
published by Enslow Publishing
Part of the I like Plants series, Seeds Spouts is a great non-fiction book ideal for your little gardener. It talks about different seeds, how they travel and also how they grow. The text is large and uses simple vocabulary. However, the close-up photographs give kids a view of seeds they may not be used to seeing. Especially the image of the seed sprout at various stages. There’s also a great seed experiment at the back, along with a list of suggested books and websites for additional information.