Technology may be on the tip of everyone’s tongue when it comes to the discussion of tools to best educate (and entertain) children of this millennium. Our own foundation has recently written blog posts recommending smartphone/tablet applications for teaching kids about health and nutrition along with organic gardening and farming. While this technology will indeed continue to grow and be a major part of engaging the world’s children in this capacity another to way to reach them is through books. A well written and illustrated book, read by a quaint light and the soothing voice of a parent or guardian will put a child to bed with pleasant thoughts while their budding minds digest the information through the night. And there is nary a better feeling than when you wonder what your child is up to when nothing but silence comes from their room, with your investigation uncovering them sitting legs-crossed with their heads buried in between the pages of a good book. This is why in today’s blog post the Plant A Seed Foundation is providing parents, guardians, and teachers with a few book suggestions (in no particular order) that will get your children interested in the concept of organic gardening at a early age.
5 Recommended Organic Gardening Books for Kids
1. From Seed to Plant (Gail Gibbons – Holiday House)
From Seed to Plant simplifies otherwise challenging gardening concepts for young readers ages 5 and up. The book addresses plant reproduction, seed dispersal, pollen transference, seed germination and more in away that gets your children excited about learning. The author provides notably bold and bright colored illustrations that include labels with clear and descriptive text from page to page. The pace of the book allows kids to read along in a logical and flowing manner, including page-turn signals for those at the youngest end of the age spectrum. From Seed to Plant is great book for introducing elementary-aged students to the interconnected relationship between seeds and plants.
2. The Curious Garden (Peter Brown – Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
With the tagline “One boy’s quest for a greener world… one garden at a time“, The Curious Garden is a touching story with an underlying environmental theme. Following a typical day in the life of a little boy named Liam, young readers (recommended for ages 3 to 6) are taken on a journey that begins with his discovery of a garden on its last legs. The good-natured protagonist decides to tend to this struggling garden patch, providing it with the daily care that it needs to once again flourish. As his adopted garden blooms the world around him begins to grow greener and brighten, from landscape to sky, until the setting is transformed into a lush and fruitful haven. The Curious Garden is beautifully written and illustrated book, grabbing the attention of any child who opens it up to the first page.
3. Roots, Shoots, Buckets & Boots (Sharon Lovejoy – Workman Publishing Company)
Roots, Shoots, Buckets & Boots: Activities to do Together in the Garden (the complete title) delivers parents and children of all ages with a dozen inspiring and easy-to-apply ideas for themed gardens. The author, Sharon Lovejoy, has illustrated the book with her own watercolors creating a beautiful mosaic that takes readers on a gardening escapade that includes the planning process, planting recipes, and growing instructions, all of which are laid out in a step-by-step manner. Not only is the planting and growing concept addressed in this book, there are numerous activities to keep you and your child fully engaged. The themes include a Pizza Patch, which is a large wheel-shaped garden that is planted in “slices”, with tomatoes, zucchini, oregano, and basil taking their respective corners. You can also grow a Flowery Maze that upon blooming will create a magnificent space for children to play (and get lost) in for hours. One especially interesting theme is Mother Nature’s Medicine Chest, which teaches children about plants that can actually be used as natural home remedies for ailments. Roots, Shoots, Buckets & Boots is truly a captivating experience in gardening.
4. Gardening Lab for Kids (Renata Fossen Brown – Quarry Books)
This book/kit takes reading a step further and puts your kids (ages 5 to 12) in the “lab” with 52 gardening experiments to learn, grow, and harvest while having fun in a literal “hands-on” environment. Each experiment is broken down into a weekly lesson. It all begins with children learning how to read gardening maps to find the best zones to plant seeds. Readers are taken through the steps relating to soil and composting, while further engaging them with garden-art activities. The author guides them through the concepts of botany and ecology as they relate to the four seasons, in addition to harvesting, eating, and cooking, truly delving into the seed to table methodology. Gardening Lab for Kids is not only an apt read for children at varying levels of interest in gardening, the content can be directly applied to home and community gardens alike.
5. Plant a Seed & See What Grows (Roland Gahler – Mind Publishing)
The mission of our foundation can essentially be summed between the parchment of this highly engaging children’s book. The Plant a Seed & See What Grows publication truly recognizes that the future of our world belongs to the young. We know that the potential to become one of our planet’s next generation of geniuses and leaders could be living within your child right at this very moment. This book will encourage and inspire your child/student not only to attend to a gardening endeavor of their own, it will plant the seed (so to speak) to cultivate their own personal growth. Take your child on a wonderfully illustrated journey with Michael, inspired by his own mother’s green thumb, as he learns to commune with nature after planting a seed that he discovered by happenstance. The Plant a Seed & See What Grows book encourages children to envision what their future may be like, and impress upon them a profound respect for the earth while keeping their minds open. Click here to purchase a copy of the book, or preview it here with this downloadable PDF before placing your order. All proceeds go to support the initiatives of the Plant a Seed & See What Grows Foundation.
Happy reading (and inevitable gardening) to you and yours!