Teaching kids how to read became one of my passions when I taught in the public school system many years ago. And as a reading specialist, I know the value of a great picture book that is read to students will help in their learning process.
With young children, you can use the power of picture books to teach about the scientific principles of growing things.
Want your little ones to learn important skills for life like gardening? Start by reading aloud children’s books to see the benefits of gardening with your kids check HERE. They will learn far more than doing activities, reading boring textbooks, or watching how to videos.
Use this list of 21 best picture books about gardening for inquisitive young children while learning how to grow a family garden with children’s books about gardens.
What Makes Great Children’s Books?
Children’s books should also be easy to read with interesting characters and vibrant illustrations that bring the story to life. Great children’s books should inspire kids to explore their own creativity and fuel their desire to learn more about the world around them.
There are two kinds of books which are fiction and nonfiction.
Fiction is a type of narrative that is created from the author’s imagination, as opposed to non-fiction which is based on facts or real-life events. When using fiction for garden books for kids, you can have the story share the facts going on scientifically in the story.
We all remember stories better than just straight facts. That is why many of the books recommended come in a story form narrative, to help the learner remember the facts.
But there are so many wonderful books that are fact-based nonfiction books. The illustrations in these books make the book understandable and easy to remember.
Both type of childrens gardening books is represented here as a way to make gardening and life science come alive.
Why Read to Little Ones?
A great book can help young ones develop their language skills and encourages a love of books. It can help them understand the world around them and build vocabulary.
It is also an opportunity for quality time together, as it allows parents and kids to bond while developing important skills.
When Should You Read about Gardening in Children’s Books?
Reading about gardening in children’s books is a valuable way to introduce kids to the wonders of nature and the importance of caring for the environment in summer, fall, and spring.
It can be beneficial starting at preschool age when children are beginning to understand basic concepts like cause and effect or recognizing how plants grow over time through each season.
Reading stories about gardens helps them to understand the world. It can also help them develop skills such as patience, problem-solving, collaboration, and creativity. And you can read gardening books in your level of gardening on these two blog posts, one for beginners and one with more variety of gardening books.
Gardening is a Skill for a Lifetime- Start Early
After spending time reading about gardening through people’s lives, through informational texts, and through the viewpoint of different authors, take your young kids outside and start using the knowledge from the read-aloud to bring it all to life. Growing a garden is a memory that won’t be forgotten as explained in this article with the benefits of gardening with kids. To add to the fun of learning, check out this blog post on quotes to encourage you and your little ones to garden.
How to Read a Picture Book for Young Readers
Check out the book cover of the book
Questions to ask to bring curiosity like “What do you see going on in the picture?” or “Why do you think they used these illustrations?”, or “What do you think this book will be about?”
Discover alongside your learners.
Read with excitement and wonder so that they know it’s fun to learn about gardening. Have fun reading with energy.
Reviewing the Book
After the book is read, spend a few minutes reviewing the storyline or the concepts from the book.
Reread the Book
The next few days, read the same book again and ask higher level questions where the answers can be different for each person or are not found in the book.
Levels of Reading
Read 2-3 years grade levels above your child’s level of reading and read to their listening level, which will be higher than their reading level. The purpose of this is that the exposure through the read-aloud gets them ready to read it themselves or to their younger siblings in a few years.
Getting a chance to hear great information and vocabulary builds reading without reading at all, but just listening. Even reading aloud a higher-level book like The Secret Garden will help your children dive into gardening.
Books by Categories:
These simply illustrated books teach little ones how seeds start.
Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss is about a little boy who plants a carrot seed. We get to see the process of planting, growing, and harvesting. It’s a precious book that has simple illustrations making gardening an easy topic for their very own garden.
The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle is a story that teaches children about the life cycle of a seed. The illustrations make this book a favorite for kids with the colors and art.
Seeds Move by Robin Page is a book filled with watching the movement of seeds through animals, weather, and the seed life cycle.
A Seed is Sleepy by Sylvia Long and Dianna Hutts Aston is an informative book on seeds with beautiful illustrations and the services that seeds give us.
Garden Books for Preschoolers or Pre-K
When reading about the garden look for a book that is interactive. The more visual interest keeps your little learners engaged and interested.
My Garden by Kevin Henkes is an imaginary look at what a garden would grow from the mind of a curious child for a curious garden. It is a whimsical, fun book with chocolate rabbits being grown in the garden.
Jack’s Garden by Henry Cole shows how to build a garden over the summertime. Gardening vocabulary, elements, tools, and the plant life cycle are illustrated and labeled for clear understanding.
We are the Gardeners by Joanna Gaines and Julianna Swaney is a book that will teach kids how a backyard garden is created. This book is a wonderful narrative of watercolor illustrations of growing a family garden where kids are excited to grow their own food.
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein gives us a view of how trees give to us through all of the seasons of life. It is a story of a young boy and a tree throughout their lives.
A Perfect Day for Digging by Cari Best is a book of fun as spring has come and the children are ready for digging and planting.
Have you ever wanted to start a flower garden full of flowering plants with your children? Start by reading how to make flowers grow. Read a beautifully illustrated book where flowers are the focus of the story.
Flower Garden by Eve Bunting is a beautiful book showing how garden flowers bring so many people joy. A little girl buys flowers and gives them to a very special person.
Lola Plants a Garden by Anna McQuinn is a sweet story about a little girl who plants flowers and then dreams of her next garden for the next season.
A Nonfiction book covers important gardening topics with beautiful illustrations that make the information comprehensible. Adding facts to beautifully illustrated books is a blend of learning for the young brain.
Gail Gibbons has written many pictorial books that cover a range of topics in science. Here are just a few to support your learning of gardening.
From Seed to Plant shows the growing process of a seed to a plant life cycle.
The Seasons of the Arnold Apple Tree shows the life cycle of an apple tree planted from a seed.
The Pumpkin Book is fun book explaining the entire life cycle of a pumpkin from seed.
The Vegetables We Eat is full of amazing veggies and brings a curiosity to try some new ones.
The Reasons for the Seasons is a wonderful basic look at why we have seasons. This book helps in the understanding of why we need to plant different seasonal crops.
Kids love poems because of the rhyming text. A garden poetry book can be a sweet book that helps learners to hear the vocabulary that they will use while gardening.
A Child’s Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson was written in 1885 with 64 poems that are beautifully written. It has been a classic for many years.
Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices is a book of poetry by Paul Fleischman. It is a collection of fourteen children’s poems about insects such as mayflies, lice, and honeybees.
Take a look at this list of great books and pick your favorite books to share the natural world in an engaging way. Grow your own garden with the knowledge of each of these books and add plant tags to know what you are growing from your learning together.
The Lorax by Dr. Suess takes a look at “the Lorax’s home has been almost destroyed by environmental abuse, it ends on a hopeful note, with the Lorax telling the readers that if they care a whole awful lot, they can change things for the better (source).”
The Earth Book by Todd Parr takes a look at how we as individuals can make a difference in taking care of the earth. It says, “I take care of the earth because I know I can do little things every day to make a BIG difference.” This book is great for younger ones.
At what age do you stop reading stories aloud?
Jim Trelease, is an educator and advocate of the power of read-alouds as a tool to foster children’s exploration of literature, language, and imagery.
By reading aloud informational books, you are promoting active learning and improved academic performance, enhancing emotional development, and encouraging lifelong reading habits.
And as your kids are getting older, use these beginning gardening books in this post to expand their knowledge.
How young do you start reading illustrated books?
Reading illustrated books is an important tool for developing language and literacy. It can help form a connection with the story, develop imagination and creativity, as well as stimulate their interest in reading.
Introducing sound books or board books for infants and toddlers can start the conversation around literacy. As toddlers grow older, encourage them to pick out their books and talk about the illustrations.
Encourage storytelling from a young age by having conversations about the characters and encouraging questions about what happened in the book — this helps build comprehension and sets up lifelong habits of engaging with literature.
Can I use this list for preschool Teachers?
Plant books for preschoolers can teach young ones about the important role gardens have in our lives.
They can help kids appreciate the beauty and variety of plants, as well as learn about their different parts, life cycles, and benefits. Garden books can introduce basic concepts of science, gardening, and ecology in a comprehensible way.
How can I garden with my preschoolers?
Start by having a themed garden. Check out this FREEBIE with three children’s gardens explained to do easily with your kids. And if you need more gardening help, check out this blog with gardening book suggestions. Use the books as beginning learning for your children. Take out an old shrub or bush and use what you are learning as a sign that you can grow something amazing to eat in that same space.
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