My daughter is just about at that age where she really loves reading with me. For a while there I thought she might just be meant for parkour or extreme sports, but lately she’s down to sit for a few minutes while we read. And since we both love gardening, I went looking for gardening books for preschoolers and was not disappointed!
There’s a great variety in this list, and we love them all. If you’re looking for gift ideas for the little gardener in your life, this would make an excellent collection. A really simple gardening book for preschoolers is Growing Vegetable Soup, and it’s great for babies too because it’s so simple. I love that instead of teaching basic shapes, it shows shapes of seeds, like corn and peas. It was the first gardening book I bought for my daughter, and she still loves it.
But there are so many more. Here are 15 of our favorites, plus a few bonus books for the slightly older readers in your life.
Our favorite gardening books for preschoolers
1. The Little Gardener (ages 0 to 3)
The Little Gardener, by Jan Gerardi, is a lift-the-flap book, making it ideal for curious young readers. Lift the flaps in this bright board book and your toddler will find out all they need to know in order to create and care for their very own garden!
2. Planting a Rainbow (ages 0 to 3)
The colorful and fun Planting a Rainbow, by Lois Ehlert, is a great introduction to colors, flowers, and learning how patience can be rewarding–especially in the garden.
3. Mrs. Peanuckle’s Vegetable Alphabet (ages 0 to 3)
Mrs. Peanuckle’s Vegetable Alphabet, by Mrs. Peanuckle, is a smorgasbord of colors, letters, and vegetables. And I can vouch for at least one preschooler who is excited about eating her vegetables, thanks in part to this book.
4. The Tiny Seed (ages 2 to 5)
You simply can’t go wrong with an Eric Carle book, and The Tiny Seed is as wonderful as any of them. All the classic artwork and themes of growth and perseverance are there. Carle’s books belong in every child’s library, but if you want gardening books for preschoolers, this is the Eric Carle book for you.
5. Lola Plants a Garden (ages 2 to 5)
Lola Plants a Garden, by Anna McQuinn, is an adorable story about young Lola’s inspiration to grow her own flower garden after reading poems about flowers.
6. Edible Colors: See. Learn. Eat. (ages 2 to 5)
Edible Colors, by Jennifer Vogel Bass, is a gem among gardening books for preschoolers. The author shows kids (and maybe a few adults) how edible and colorful a garden can be. With real pictures (as opposed to illustrations), Bass shares that tomatoes aren’t always red, corn can be purple, and carrots can be yellow. It’s a great way to learn colors and vegetables, but also about different varieties of vegetables.
7. When Grandma Gives You a Lemon Tree (ages 3+)
When Grandma Gives You a Lemon Tree, by Jamie L.B. Deenihan, is a delightful read on the importance of slowing down and living life without electronics in hand. There are also plenty of tips for growing a lemon tree, and, of course, the best part: a lemonade recipe!
8. Growing Vegetable Soup (ages 3 to 5)
Growing Vegetable Soup, by Lois Ehlert, is a bold colorful board book that the School Library Journal calls “a fresh presentation on the gardening cycle with a joyful conclusion.” This is the first gardening book for preschoolers that we introduced to my daughter Ruby when she was very young. A friend had brought it over because she knew Ruby liked to help me garden, and we both just loved it. Learning what holes are, and the shapes of seeds, was a very creative approach.
9. Compost Stew: An A to Z Recipe for the Earth (ages 3 to 7)
Compost Stew: An A to Z Recipe for the Earth, by Mary McKenna Siddals, helps teach kids the importance of composting and gives them a recipe for starting their own compost stew.
10. GROW: How We Get Food from Our Garden (ages 4 to 7)
GROW: How We Get Food from Our Garden, by Karl Beckstrand, is a 30-page journey through the growing seasons, from seed to harvest. This is a beautiful book my daughter loves!
11. Plant the Tiny Seed (ages 4 to 7)
Plant the Tiny Seed, by Christie Matheson, is an interactive book that teaches children how a seed blossoms into a beautiful flower.
12. From Seed to Plant (ages 4 to 8)
Gail Gibbons has written, illustrated, and published over 170 books. Like most of her books, From Seed to Plant is full of rich colors and simple text that explains how a seed turns into a beautiful plant.
13. We Are the Gardeners (ages 4 to 8)
Does We Are the Gardeners, by Joanna Gaines, belong in a list of gardening books for preschoolers? Yes, but not for the reasons you might think. We all know gardening isn’t always successful. This book teaches children the important lesson that sometimes things don’t go the way you want them to, but we can learn from our mistakes and try again!
14. The Carrot Seed (ages 4 to 8)
The Carrot Seed, by Ruth Krauss, has been in print continuously since 1945. Simple text and colors, along with important lessons about patience and integrity, make this a classic. I don’t love that the parents in the book tell the child the seed will never grow, but I do like that he persists even though everyone tells him it won’t.
15. Roots, Shoots, Buckets & Boots (ages 4 to 10)
Roots, Shoots, Buckets & Boots, by Sharon Lovejoy, is a hands-on book that will inspire young gardeners to get out there and create the garden of their dreams, including a themed “Pizza Patch” garden!
Bonus books for slightly older gardeners
For a few cute post-preschool gardening books, we love these as well:
Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt (ages 5 to 8)
As adults, we understand how much goes unseen in the garden. Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt, by Kate Messner, gives the stage to the earthworms and insects that help make gardens such a vibrant and life-sustaining part of our world.
Seeds and Trees (ages 6 to 12)
Seeds and Trees, by Brandon Walden, is a gorgeous fairy-tale style story about how important our words can be.
In the Garden (ages 8 to 12)
In the Garden, by Emma Giuliani, is simply beautiful. This lift-the-flap book is filled with marvelous details and exciting stories. Kirkus Reviews called the book “visually and conceptually idyllic.” There’s plenty for young readers to discover in this gorgeous gardening book.
Do you have any favorite gardening books for preschoolers or older readers? Leave your recommendations in the comments. I’d love to hear your suggestions.
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