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! A really simple one that we love is Growing Vegetable Soup, but here are 15 of our favorites, plus a few bonus books for the slightly older readers in your life.
Our mostly official list of favorite gardening books for preschoolers
1. The Little Gardener
The Little Gardener (Teenie Greenies), by Jan Gerardi (Ages 0-3), is a lift-the-flap book, making it ideal for curious young readers.
2. Planting a Rainbow
The colorful and fun Planting a Rainbow, by Lois Ehlert (Ages 0-3), is a great introduction to colors, flowers, and learning how patience can be rewarding – especially in the garden.
3. Mrs. Peanuckle’s Vegetable Alphabet
Mrs. Peanuckle’s Vegetable Alphabet (Mrs. Peanuckle’s Alphabet), by Mrs. Peanuckle (Ages 0-3), 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
You simply can’t go wrong with an Eric Carle book, and The Tiny Seed (The World of Eric Carle) (Ages 2-5) is as wonderful as any of them. All the classic artwork and themes of growth and perseverance are here. 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
Lola Plants a Garden, by Anna McQuinn (Ages 2-5), 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
Edible Colors: See, Learn, Eat, by Jennifer Vogel Bass (Ages 2-5), isn’t typical 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
When Grandma Gives You a Lemon Tree, by Jamie L.B. Deenihan (Ages 3+), 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, a lemonade recipe.
8. Growing Vegetable Soup
Growing Vegetable Soup, by Lois Ehlert (Age 3-5), is a bold colorful board book that the School Library Journal calls “a fresh presentation on the gardening cycle with a joyful conclusion.”
9. Compost Stew: An A to Z Recipe for the Earth
Compost Stew: An A to Z Recipe for the Earth, by Mary McKenna Siddals (Ages 3-7), 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
GROW: How We Get Food from Our Garden (Food Books for Kids), by Karl Beckstrand (Ages 4-7), is a 30-page journey through the growing seasons, from seed to harvest.
11. Plant the Tiny Seed
Plant the Tiny Seed, by Christie Matheson (Ages 4-8), is an interactive book that teaches children how a seed blossoms into a beautiful flower.
12. From Seed to Plant
Gail Gibbons has written, illustrated, and published over 170 books. Like most of her books, From Seed to Plant (Ages 4-8) is full of rich colors and simple text that explains how a seed turns into a beautiful plant.
13. We Are the Gardeners
Does We Are the Gardeners, by Joanna Gaines (Ages 4-8), 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, and 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
The Carrot Seed: 75th Anniversary (Rise and Shine), by Ruth Krauss (Ages 4-8), has been in print continuously since 1945. Simple text and colors, along with important lessons about patience and integrity, make this a classic.
15. Roots, Shoots, Buckets & Boots: Garden Together with Children
Roots, Shoots, Buckets & Boots: Gardening Together with Children, by Sharon Lovejoy (Ages 4-10), 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:
Seeds and Trees: A children’s book about the power of words
Seeds and Trees: A children’s book about the power of words, by Brandon Walden (Ages 6-12), is a gorgeous fairy-tale style story about how important our words can be.
Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt
As adults, we understand how much goes unseen in the garden. Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt: (Spring Books for Kids, Gardening for Kids, Preschool Science Books, Children’s Nature Books), by Kate Messner (Ages 5-8), gives the stage to the earthworms and insects that help make gardens such a vibrant and life-sustaining part of our world.
In the Garden
In the Garden, by Emma Giuliani (Ages 8-12), is simply beautiful. This lift-the-flaps 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.