Growing in the Garden: Books for Young Children

There is nothing like planting a seed and watching it grow! These books for young children celebrate the wonder of gardens and gardening with friends and family.

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For additional ideas and activities, see the following:

Boy in the Garden

By: Allen Say
Age Level: 6-9

Young Jiro is drawn to a small cottage when he and his father visit a rich man. There, inspired by a statue, Jiro relives the story told by his mother of the "Grateful Crane." The line between fantasy and reality blur for Jiro in this beautiful, mysterious telling.

First Garden and How It Grew

Age Level: 6-9

White House gardens started with John Adams in 1800 and continue with Michelle Obama. History and recipes for healthy food are presented in this attractive volume.

Good Work: Plant Life (TIME For Kids Informational Text)

Age Level: 6-9
Language: Spanish

This picture book teaches young readers what plants need to grow. Featuring vivid images and simple, repetitive phrases, students will be eager to learn about what plants need to grow. This title correlates to Next Generation Science Standards with a focus on plants.

Grandmother's Garden

Illustrated by: Raúl Colón
Age Level: 6-9

Product Description: In this beautiful story-poem, master storyteller John Archambault celebrates the magnificence and commonality of life in all its rich diversity. Using the image of the Earth as a garden turning around the sun, the book affirms that with a bit of sunshine, rain and lots of love, there is room for everyone to bloom. Full color.

Growing An Artist: The Story of a Landscaper and His Son

Father and son planting in garden
Age Level: 6-9
Language: Spanish

Today is a big day — the first time Juanito gets to help his papi on the job as a landscape architect! Throughout the day, Juanito sketches anything that catches his eye: a nest full of baby birds, a nursery with row upon row of plants and flowers, and more. Father and son travel from house to house, pruning, weeding, mowing, and turning overgrown and chaotic yards into beautiful spaces. A few of the clients don’t appreciate Papi’s hard work, like Juanito’s classmate who pretends not to see him. But Papi always feels pride in owning his own business and in a job well done.

In the Garden

Illustrated by: Manelle Oliphant
Age Level: 0-3

A young boy digs a garden, plants seeds, waters and waits but forgets — until sprouts and ultimately plants emerge! Simple staccato, rhythmic language combines with realistic illustrations in a small format just right for introducing gardens to young children.

Lola Plants a Garden

Illustrated by: Rosalind Beardshaw
Age Level: 0-3

How does your garden grow?Book-loving Lola is inspired by a collection of garden poems that she reads with her mommy. She wants to plant her own garden of beautiful flowers, so she and Mommy go to the library to check out books about gardening. They choose their flowers and buy their seeds. They dig and plant. And then they wait. Lola finds it hard to wait for her flowers to grow, but she spends the time creating her own flower book. Soon she has a garden full of sunflowers and invites all of her friends for cakes and punch and a story amongst the flowers.

Quiet in the Garden

By: Aliki
Age Level: 3-6

A child goes quietly out to the garden where he can almost hear the creatures respond to his curiosity about their actions. The narrator then gathers food for a picnic with "my friends." Suggestions for making a "quiet garden" conclude this tranquil book.

Rainbow Stew

Age Level: 3-6

The children are distressed that it's raining while visiting their grandfather. But Grandpa has the children don rain gear to "find colors for garden stew." Vegetables collected, the family makes and eats a delicious stew. Joy-filled illustrations accompany the rhythmic text.

Summer Sun Risin'

Illustrated by: Don Tate
Age Level: 3-6
Language: English, Spanish

Set on a Texas farm in the 1950s and told in Nikola-Lisa's distinctive and catchy style, this loving tribute to childhood, farm life, and family togetherness will resonate with readers of all backgrounds today. Sun-drenched paintings by Don Tate mirror the family’s daily activities and trace the sun as it travels across the sky from sunrise to sunset. The story also subtly introduces young readers to the subject of African American farmers. Spanish version available.

The Ugly Vegetables

Young girl with mother in garden
By: Grace Lin
Age Level: 6-9
Language: English

In a neighborhood of flower gardens, a Chinese-American girl and her mother plant what the child considers to be ugly vegetables. The ugly vegetables, however, become attractive and help build community when made into a delicious soup! A recipe is included.

Up, Down, and Around

Illustrated by: Nadine Wescott
Age Level: 3-6
Language: Spanish

From seeds dropping into soil to corn bursting from its stalks, from children chasing butterflies to ants burrowing underground, everything in this vibrant picture book pulses with life —- in all directions! Sprightly illustrations set the mood for a rhythmic text that follows nature’s course to a feast of backyard bounty.