Guest Post: Children’s Books to Welcome Spring By Deb Chitwood on behalf of LittlePassports.com

This is a pre-written guest post and belongs solely to the author.

March is not only National Reading Month in the USA, and Little Passportswants to help you celebrate the start of spring! Spring is a wonderful time for garden adventures, both in the backyard and through the power of reading. Use this reading list to find amazing children’s books that feature gardens and plants around the world, for ages 3-5 and 6-10. Of course, the ages will often overlap and vary according to each unique child.
Garden Adventures for Ages 3-5
1. One Child, One Seed: A South African Counting Book, by Kathryn Cave (Author), Gisèle Wulfsohn (Photographer)
This is a creative counting book about a child planting a pumpkin seed in South Africa. This book tells the story of the seed while sharing the culture of a child growing up in rural South Africa.
(Recommended for ages 3-7.)
2. The Flower Alphabet Book, by Jerry Pallotta (Author), Leslie Evans (Illustrator)
This beautifully illustrated book can be used to combine a study of flowers around the world with letter work.
(Recommended for ages 4-8.)
3. Oh Say Can You Seed?: All About Flowering Plants (Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library), by Bonnie Worth
This wasn’t written by Dr. Seuss, but it still has a fun adventure with the Cat in the Hat, Thing 1 and Thing 2. That it gives scientific information about plants is a bonus.
(Recommended for ages 4-8.)
4. The Empty Pot, by Demi
This tale from China has vibrant, detailed illustrations, gardening inspiration, and a clear moral to the story.
(Recommended for ages 4 and up.)
Bonus reads: Don’t forget about preschool classics like, The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle, Frog and Toad Together by Arnold Lobel (which includes the tale of Frog giving Toad seeds to grow a garden) and of course, Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter.
Garden Adventures for Ages 6-10
5. The Magical Garden of Claude Monet, by Laurence Anholt
This is the type of book that can help spark an interest in fine art. It’s a combination of fiction and biographical fact in which a girl from Paris becomes friends with a gardener (who she later learns is the garden’s owner, Claude Monet) in Giverny, a few miles from Paris. The book includes reproductions by author-illustrator Laurence Anholt, of Monet’s famous waterlilies painting, which Monet completed in his garden at Giverny.
(Recommended for ages 6-9, although many preschoolers will love the story, too.)
6. A Seed Is Sleepy, by Dianna Hutts Aston (Author) and Sylvia Long (Illustrator)
The illustrations of a wide variety of seeds in this book are gorgeous, making it a wonderful addition to a study of seeds and plants around the world.
(Recommended for ages 5-10.)
7. Miss Rumphius, by Barbara Cooney
Miss Rumphius wanted to travel the world and make the world more beautiful. The lupines along the coast of Maine are from seeds scattered by the real Miss Rumphius.
(Recommended for ages 5-8.)
8. Planting the Trees of Kenya: The Story of Wangari Maathai, by Claire A. Nivola
This lovely book is about Wangari Maathai, environmentalist and winner of the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize. It tells about her native Kenya and how she returned home to bring back the trees and gardens.
(Recommended for ages 5-8.)
9. The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett
This classic book is timeless. It tells the story of a young girl on the Yorkshire moors of England. She discovers a secret garden and works to bring it back to life.
(Recommended for ages 7-12.)
Bonus reads: Mud Pies and Other Recipes by Marjorie Winslow. While not a traditional garden book, it encourages children to go outdoors and enjoy imaginative adventures in their own backyards and gardens, creating “dishes” their parents, grandparents and great-grandparents may have enjoyed creating as children. Grab a book and head outdoors with your kiddo!

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