Gardening Books for Kids

Sow the seeds. Sprinkle with water. Wait patiently. Bloom.  And, while your wait for your bounty, enjoy these gardening books for kids.  Your harvest awaits!


Books About Gardening for Toddlers

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Hello World! Garden Time by Jill McDonald plops us right into the garden to learn all about what goes on there from the soils to the seeds. (board book)

Plant a sunflower seed in the garden and watch it grow in Up to My Knees! by Grace Lin.  In the process, your little one will be exposed to a little math in the process. (board book)

National Geographic Kids Look and Learn In My Garden offers great photographic images of life in the garden. (board book)

Get ready for a bedtime tale that takes place in the garden as we say goodnight to all the veggies.  This is a good one for little ones to see which veggies grow underground vs those that grow above ground.  Check out Goodnight, Veggies by Diana Murray. (board book or hardcover)

Baby Botanist by Dr. Laura Gehl looks at how plants grow including those in the garden. It also highlights that many of the foods we eat come from plants. (board book)

The next couple of books are great for sharing with toddlers and work equally as well with preschoolers.

Get ready to welcome warmer temperatures and the growing season in How to Say Hello to a Worm: A First Guide to Outside by Kari Percival. Plant the lettuce seeds. Say hello to a worm. Make some mud. Learn all the how-tos for growing a garden in this beautifully illustrated book. This book works equally as well for young preschoolers too. (hardcover)

Lola Plants a Garden by Anna McQuinn is the story of Lola who is inspired by a poem to create a garden of her home.  With the help of her mom, they get books from the library and then get busy in the dirt. (hardcover)

One of the most fun plants to add to a garden with young children is sunflowers.  They grow quickly, can be over 8ft tall, and discovering the seeds inside leads to all sorts of investigations. Explore the life cycle of a sunflower in
A Seed Grows by Antoinette Portis (hardcover)

Preschool Books About Gardens 

Miguel’s Community Garden by JaNay Brown-Wood is a delightful read-aloud and full of talking points and teaching opportunities. Miguel is throwing a party in his community garden and would like some sunflowers.  Go with him to identify sunflowers and in the process learn about all sorts of things that grow in the garden.

Green Green A Community Garden by Marie and Baldev Lamba gets me in the mood to garden and share with others. This book points out the importance of green space in cities especially in creating community gardens. Growing up in St. Louis city, I’ve gotten to witness many community gardens go in around the city and there are pretty some cool ones.

In the garden that Jack built, you will see and meet lots of plants and animals. Over the course of this cumulative book, you will watch his garden bloom. This is an excellent book for building vocabulary.  Check out Jack’s Garden by Henry Cole.

Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt by Kate Messner invites children to learn about the things growing and living up and down in the garden.

My Garden by Kevin Henkes is the story of a little garden helper who dreams about all the magical things her dream garden would do from changing color flowers to tomatoes that get the size of beach balls.

The Ugly Vegetables by Grace Lin is the story of growing a child embarrassed by the “ugly” Chinese vegetables growing in her garden compared to the flowers in the neighbors’ yards. But, her mother shows her that those vegetables make the most beautiful and tasty soup that even the neighbors enjoy.  A recipe is included.

In a Garden by Tim McCanna takes inside the day-by-day workings of a garden with lyrical text.  You’ll meet worms, slugs, ants, and more.

And for another look at all the creatures that live in the garden, check out the cumulative tale, My Busy Green Garden by Terry Pierce.

Plants grow in a garden, but so can love.  Gardens Are For Growing by Chelsea Tornetto allows us to see plants growing as well as a toddler growing into a young woman alongside her father in the garden. Seasons bring new beginnings for gardens and people too.

Secrets of the Vegetable Garden by Carron Brown is fun because you shine a flashlight behind some of the pages to expose hidden images and facts about the garden.

Rainbow Stew by Cathryn Falwell is the story of a family ventures out into the wet garden with grandpa to pick produce for the vegetable stew. There are so many colorful things growing that are just waiting to be picked. There is even a recipe included to do some cooking with the children.

rainbow stew activities

And, be sure to grab the Rainbow Stew Book Dive.—> Get the Rainbow Stew Book Dive

Gardening Books for Kindergarten and Up

Check out Sun in My Tummy by Laura Alary talks about the role photosynthesis plays in the food we eat from wheat to blueberries to the grass cows eat.

Behold Our Magical Garden: Poems Fresh From a School Garden by Allan Wolf is filled with poems about all sorts of topics related to the garden. From “Good Bug, Bad Bug” to “The Secret Ingredient” all about the flavors and scents of herbs, you’ll learn a lot through poetry.

Sweet Pea Summer by Hazel Mitchell is a beautiful new picture book. A young girl stays with her grandparents while her mom has to go to the hospital. At first, things are hard, but the girl soon begins working with her grandfather in his garden. The young girl cares for some sweet peas in hopes of entering them in a contest. With lots of love, learning, and patience, her sweet peas bloom and even win a prize. But, the best prize is her parents showing up and her mom being released from the hospital. The illustrations are just lovely.

My Delicious Garden by Anne-Marie Fortin takes us through each month of the year describing what the garden is doing as well as the things that have been harvested.  A young girl dreams and plans her garden in January, and sows the seeds in March, while July means harvesting time begins.  Connect with the garden every month of the year!

The Gardener by Sarah Stewart is a gorgeously illustrated book showcasing a rooftop garden. Lydia Grace brings a suitcase of seeds when she comes to visit her uncle in the city.

I love The Night Gardener by the Fan Brothers. A child discovers that a tree has been turned into a topiary- an owl.  Each day more and more topiaries appear. This night gardener changes the town in more than one way.

Harlem Grown: How One Big Idea Transformed a Neighborhood by Tony Hillery will inspire you to come together with your community to create something that benefits many.

Another older book about transforming an empty lot into a community garden is City Green by Anne Disalvo-Ryan.

How Groundhog’s Garden Grew by Lynn Cherry is a bit longer book and a little hard to find. But, it is a gorgeous book with enjoyable text. Groundhog is learning to plant and tend the garden with the help of some fellow animals. This book works really well for a unit on plants, veggies, and gardening.

Celia Planted a Garden: The Story of Celia Thaxter and Her Island Garden by Phyllis Root and Gary D. Schmidt introduces us to a writer, painter, and gardener. Not only did Celia Thaxter create a flower garden, but she also wrote about the flowers in poems that were published in magazines and books.

There is so much science involved in gardening and one of the remarkable scientists in the field was George Washington Carver.  Learn all about him and his curiosity about plants as a child in The Secret Garden of George Washington Carver by Gene Barretta.

Planting a Garden in Room 6 by Caroline Arnold is loaded with photographs of starting a school garden from up close seed pictures to cool weather growing vegetables.  There is a lot of text describing the process of getting a school garden growing, to water can sidebars of deeper information, to terminology and tools used for gardening.

And, I have a whole list of counting in the garden books for kids.  See that list too.—> Counting in the Garden Books

Gardening Activity Books to Use With Kids

The Garden Classroom by Cathy James is one I own and reference each season. I’m partial to the reading and writing sections. This is one of my favorite gardening activity books.

Plant, Cook, Eat! A Children’s Cookbook by Joe Archer and Caroline Craig is a browseable nonfiction pick that includes lots of information about growing your own food which is a great follow-up to last month’s book pick. Plus, it includes lots of yummy recipes.

Printable Book List of Books About Gardening for Kids

Get a printable book list of the books shared above.  You can take it to the library or use it for your lesson plans.

Enjoy heading into the garden of reading.

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