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. 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.
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 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.
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 for 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.
Books by Categories:
These simply illustrated books teach little ones how seeds start out.
Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss is about a little boy who plants a carrot seed. We get to see the process of planting, the growing, and the harvesting. It’s a precious book that has simple illustrations making gardening an easy topic.
The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle a story 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.
Garden Books for Preschoolers or Pre-K
When reading about the garden look for a book that is an interactive book. 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. It is a whimsical, fun book with chocolate rabbits being grown in the garden.
Jack’s Garden by Henry Cole show’s how to build a garden over a 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 growing a family garden with watercolor illustrations.
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 little boy and a tree.
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 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 for 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 trying to 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.
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.
” target=”_blank” rel=”noreferrer noopener sponsored nofollow”>City Green by DyAnne DiSalvo-Ryan is a story about one little girl’s desire to renew a community by planting a garden.
At what age do you stop reading stories aloud?
Jim Trelease, 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, enhances emotional development, and encourages lifelong reading habits.
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 own books and talk about the illustrations.
Encourage storytelling from young ages 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 to 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.
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