Gardening books for children

To locate these books, try the local library, the school library, used book stores, local outlets and on-line sources (Amazon.com and others).

  For children we want to impart a sense of wonder in the garden in a way that connects with the experience and the social world of the child. I recommend The Butterfly Adventure by Nancy Lorraine with lovely watercolor illustrations by Dorothy Herron.  more


The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss Scholastic Book Services

Planting a seed does not bring instant gratification! Rather, it requires a great deal of patience and faith and an understanding og the germination process. This childhood classic is the story of a little boy's determination to plant and care for the carrot seed he has planted despite his family's lack of encouragement.


Pumpkin Pumpkin by Jeanne Titherington Scholastic Inc.

            A grandfather and grandson share a gardening experience. The story illustrates the process of growing pumpkins from planting the seed, to the emergence of the sprout, the appearance of the pumpkin blossom, the growth of the pumpkin, the harvest, and the saving of the seeds for planting the next spring. The illustrations are a delightful addition to the story.


The Seasons of Arnold’s Apple Tree by Gail Gibbons Scholastic Inc.

            Arnold has his own apple tree! Read about how it grows and changes throughout the seasons of the year.  This book reminds gardeners of all ages that each season of the year brings a new activity to the garden.


From Seed to Plant by Gail Gibbons Holiday House

            This is a book for the budding young horticulturist.  The story contains scientific information and illustrations.  The author includes seed information, illustrations labeling flower parts, the purpose of pollinators, pollination illustrations, how seeds develop, and how seeds are dispersed throughout the environment.  The book contains an experiment involving sprouting bean seeds. 


Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert Trumpet Club

            Every year a mother and child plant a rainbow of flowers in their garden. The reader is  introduced to flowers representing each color of the rainbow.  The reader learns that flower bulbs are planted in the fall.  Flower seeds for spring planting are ordered from seed catalogs during the winter.  A trip to the local nursery is required to purchase flower seedlings for the garden. 


Eating the Alphabet by Lois Ehlert Trumpet Club

            Invite your young gardener to learn about fruits and vegetables from A to Z.  Then off to the super market and farmer’s market to learn about which of these foods are available locally.  How about a tasting party for the young reader.  Use this book to help decide what to grow in the garden this spring.  The book ends with a glossary of the fruits and   vegetables included in the book.


Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois Ehlert Voyager Books Harcourt, Inc.

            Planting vegetable soup! What are Dad and the children up to?  Young gardens will learn about gardening tools, seed shapes, what various plant sprouts look like, leaf shapes of various vegetable plants, what plants need for growth, harvesting techniques, and how to turn vegetables into soup. 


The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle Scholastic Inc.

            An Autumn wind blows flower seeds high into the air.  Where will the seeds land?  What  flower will grow from the seeds?  What happens to the seeds during each of the seasons of the year?  What will happen to the smallest seed?  Find out as you read this  artfully illustrated book.


How Groundhog’s Garden Grew by Lynne Cherry The Blue Sky Press

            Award-winning children's authorLynne Cherry will introduce the young gardener in your life to the cycle of an entire gardening year as Squirrel teaches his friend Little Groundhog the rich rewards of  gardening.  The illustrations will help the young gardener learn to identify seeds, their sprouts, and the mature plant.  Lynne Cherry’s story is a celebration of friendship, sharing, and the wonders of the natural world.


Tops and Bottoms by Janet Stevens Harcourt, Inc.

            Lazy Bear and smart Hare plant a garden together.  All lazy Bear has to do is choose if he wants the tops or bottoms of the plants for his share of food from the garden. But smart and clever Hare tricks him at harvest time.  An amusing story for young and old.


Plant Sitter by Gene Zion Scholastic Book Services

            Tommy is a plant sitter; a baby sitter for houseplants.  Tommy takes such good care of  the houseplants, that all of the neighbors ask him to take care of their plants while they go on vacation.  Soon Tommy’s house is full of plants.  One night he has a dream... or is it a nightmare?  A delightful illustrated story about plant care, propagation and sharing. 


Anna’s Garden Songs by Mary Q. Steele Scholastic Inc.

            What a fun way to introduce a young child to poetry.  A variety of garden vegetables provide the ingredients for the poetry and illustrations.  The illustrations show children having fun in the garden.  Rhyming words fill the pages from beginning to end.  It may inspire a poem or two about your garden.


The Rose in My Garden by Arnold Lobel Scholastic Inc.

            Lovely to look at and enjoyable for reading aloud with your young gardener.  This story is similar in style to “The House That Jack Built”.  It begins with a bee on a rose and ends with a cat chasing a mouse through the flower garden.  The text begins with one simple sentence, builds gradually to many, and ends with one sentence. 




We acknowledge and thank Master Gardener Mary Hercher for compiling this information.





Summer Food in Wintry February


16 Popular Foods You Didn’t Know You Could Freeze

1. Garlic – You can freeze whole garlic, garlic cloves or chopped fresh garlic. Frozen garlic does lose some of its texture, but the flavor remains intact.

2. Corn – You can freeze fresh-picked corn on the cob for up to one year. Pack it in freezer bags — husk and silk and all. For store-bought corn, husk and blanch it before freezing.

3. Avocados – The bad news is that frozen avocados lose their consistency. The good news is that they do not lose their taste, so you can use them for guacamole or dressing. Wash and halve them before peeling. Freeze as halves, or puree them with lime or lemon juice and then store for up to eight months.

4. Mushrooms — You can freeze raw button, creminis and portabellas mushrooms for later use. Chop and slice mushrooms and then spread them on a cookie sheet. Freeze. Then transfer the pieces to bags or containers.

5. Onion – You can save chopping time – and tears – by freezing onion for cooking later. Store peeled, chopped onion in plastic freezer bags. The best part is you can just toss them into your recipes without thawing them first.

6. Hummus – Scoop your fresh hummus into plastic containers. Then drizzle a thin layer of olive oil on the top to keep it from drying out. Thaw in the refrigerator for 24 hours before mixing and serving.

more such winter gardening from Off the Grid News