There are so many amazing books for young children. Here are some of my favorite books about gardens, plants or gardening for the petites. I love how these stories feature boys and girls and above all the love for growing things.
The Tiny Seed – a sweet story where children get the opportunity to learn about the life cycle of a seed.
Planting a Rainbow – this is a great story about planning seeds, both my girls love it and the rainbow of colors, more for younger kids. The board book is a particular hit.
The Curious Garden – a great story about a little boy named Liam who lived in a dreary city and found a little plant and helped it to grow into a fabulous garden.
Grandpa Green – this is by far one of my favorite books, it is beautiful. The story of a man’s life is told through the hedges that he shapes in his garden. I’m not going to lie, I cried the first time I read it, it’s so sweet.
Ladybug Girl Visits the Farm – who doesn’t love a good Ladybug Girl book? I know my girl does. This one combines a lovely story and stickers that can be placed within the storybook.
Growing Vegetable Soup – this is another great book about growing your own food, so much fun, more for younger kids.
My Garden – I love this story a little girl who helps her mother in the garden and then uses her imagination to create her own remarkable garden.
Mrs. McNosh and the Great Big Squash – My girl has loved this silly book and how it rhymes since she was about two. She loves the giant squash and how silly it is.
Jack’s Garden – This is the story of Jack and how he made his garden, this book shows the steps and the tools needed to make a garden.
I love all of these books, so many have amazing illustrations and inspire the love of growing things. These books pose as fantastic conversation starters as well. As a teacher, I have spent a lot of time speaking with parents about reading. One of the most common questions I got was: How do we do more than just read with our kids, and what does that specifically look like? Here is what I suggested based on the age of the kids.
2-3 year olds
- What illustration/picture did you like the best? (start using words like illustration)
- What was your favorite part of the story? Why? (if not verbal have them point)
- Asking specific questions about what they see in the illustrations, having them point out specific things.
3-4 year olds
- Before you read a new book, have the petite look at the cover and then do a “picture walk” where they just look through the book at the pictures. When they are done ask them to make a prediction about the story.
- It is also good to start using words like title and author as well. Make sure to point these out on the cover.
- Asking what they predict will happen next in the story at different points?
- Asking them what the problem is in the story? How they think it could be fixed?
- Asking them to retell the story, what happened first and last?
- What was their favorite part?
- What did the illustration make them think about?
- When the story is over ask if they would want to tell a friend about it and who they would tell.
These are just a few things that will support your young pre-readers and get them thinking more actively about the stories they are listening to. Of course just pick a few of these each time, or questions that are more pertinent to the story. All in all these questions are a great way to bridge listening to thinking about stories.