Gardening can be such a relaxing hobby and a wonderful way to build appreciation for our planet. These picture books about gardening will help cultivate an interest in the practice — and are also just a delight to plow through with your kids.
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The Night Gardener
Published: February 16, 2016
One day, William discovers that the tree outside his window has been sculpted into a wise owl. In the following days, more topiaries appear, and each one is more beautiful than the last. Soon, William’s gray little town is full of color and life. And though the mysterious night gardener disappears as suddenly as he appeared, William—and his town—are changed forever.
Published: March 5, 2019
It’s true! Plants use the colors of their flowers to communicate with animals. But why animals? Because they help plants make seeds by moving pollen from one flower to another. Learn the secrets of flower talk from a narrator with an inside scoop!
Plant the Tiny Seed
Published: January 24, 2017
Beautiful collage-and-watercolor art follows the seed through its entire life cycle, as it grows into a zinnia in a garden full of buzzing bees, curious hummingbirds, and colorful butterflies. Children engage with the book as they wiggle their fingers to water the seeds, clap to make the sun shine after rain, and shoo away a hungry snail. Appropriate for even the youngest child, Plant the Tiny Seed is never the same book twice—no matter how many times you read it!
We Are the Gardeners
Published: March 26, 2019
Our journey as gardeners started with one small potted plant, but things did not go as planned. Turns out, trying something new isn’t always easy, but sometimes, it’s the hardest work that leads to the greatest reward.
Badger’s Perfect Garden
Published: March 15, 2019
2020 Growing Good Kids Book Award 2020-2021 Keystone to Reading Elementary Book Award List 2019 Florida Book Award – Bronze Medal It’s springtime and Badger is ready to plant the perfect garden. He has spent months gathering and sorting seeds. It’s been a lot of work but it’s worth it. His friends Red Squirrel, Dormouse, and Weasel come to help. They weed. They rake. And finally they plant. Afterward, everyone celebrates, and Badger can already imagine the perfect rows of flowers and vegetables. But then a rainstorm comes and washes away the beautiful seeds. Badger’s perfect garden is ruined. Or is it? Author Marsha Diane Arnold’s gentle story will encourage young readers to think beyond plans and expectations and imagine the wonderful possibilities that may occur when life and nature have other ideas.
Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt
Published: March 3, 2015
Explore the secret realm beneath the dirt that brings the world of nature to life: Follow a young girl and her grandmother on a journey through the year planning, planting, and harvesting their garden—and learn about what’s happening in the dirt to help make it all happen.
Up in the garden, the world is full of green—leaves and sprouts, growing vegetables, ripening fruit. But down in the dirt exists a busy world—earthworms dig, snakes hunt, skunks burrow—populated by all the creatures that make a garden their home.
These secrets and many others are waiting to be discovered up in the garden and down in the dirt in this sweet children’s book from Kate Messner and Christopher Silas Neal, the latest in their beloved series that offers kids a peek into hidden ecosystems.
The Curious Garden
Published: April 1, 2009
One boy’s quest for a greener world… one garden at a time.
While out exploring one day, a little boy named Liam discovers a struggling garden and decides to take care of it. As time passes, the garden spreads throughout the dark, gray city, transforming it into a lush, green world.
When Grandma Gives You a Lemon Tree
Published: February 28, 2020
“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” In this imaginative take on that popular saying, a child is surprised (and disappointed) to receive a lemon tree from Grandma for her birthday. After all, she DID ask for a new gadget! But when she follows the narrator’s careful—and funny—instructions, she discovers that the tree might be exactly what she wanted after all. This clever story, complete with a recipe for lemonade, celebrates the pleasures of patience, hard work, nature, community . . . and putting down the electronic devices just for a while.
What’s Inside a Flower?
Published: February 2, 2021
Budding backyard scientists can start exploring their world with this stunning introduction to these flowery show-stoppers–from seeds to roots to blooms. Learning how flowers grow gives kids beautiful building blocks of science and inquiry.
Published: March 19, 2019
Every seed, big or small, needs sunlight, water, and an uncrowded place to put down roots. But how do seeds get to the perfect place to grow? This exploration of seed dispersal covers a wide range of seeds and the creatures that help them move, from a coconut seed floating on waves to an African grass seed rolled by a dung beetle, to a milkweed seed floating on the wind.
A Seed Is Sleepy
Published: March 1, 2007
Award-winning artist Sylvia Long and author Dianna Hutts Aston have teamed up again to create this gorgeous and informative introduction to seeds. Poetic in voice and elegant in design, the book introduces children to a fascinating array of seed and plant facts, making it a guide that is equally at home being read on a parent’s lap as in a classroom reading circle.
Published: February 20, 2018
When Mae’s family moves to a new home, she wishes she could bring her garden with her. She’ll miss the apple trees, the daffodils, and chasing butterflies in the wavy grass.
But there’s no room for a garden in the city. Or is there?
Mae’s story, gorgeously illustrated in watercolor, is a good match for kids interested in the environment, as well as any child going through a move.
Have You Ever Seen a Flower?
Published: May 4, 2021
One child experiences a flower with all five senses—from its color to its fragrance to the entire universe it evokes—revealing how a single flower can expand one’s perspective in many ways.
Lola Plants a Garden
Published: August 5, 2014
Readers who loved Lola at the Library, Lola Loves Stories, and Lola Reads to Leo are in for a backyard treat. After Lola reads a book of garden poems, she wants to plant some flowers. She gets books from the library and chooses her plants. Then Lola and her mommy buy the seeds, make the garden, and mark the rows. Now it’s time to wait. . . .
Published: August 30, 2011
Grandpa Green wasn’t always a gardener. He was a farmboy and a kid with chickenpox and a soldier and, most of all, an artist. In this captivating new picture book, readers follow Grandpa Green’s great-grandson into a garden he created, a fantastic world where memories are handed down in the fanciful shapes of topiary trees and imagination recreates things forgotten.
Flowers Are Calling
Published: March 3, 2015
Flowers are calling to all the animals of the forest, “Drink me!”—but it’s the pollinators who feast on their nectar. In rhyming poetic form and with luminous artwork, this book shows us the marvel of natural cooperation between plants, animals, and insects as they each play their part in the forest’s cycle of life.
Published: February 23, 2010
The girl in this book grows chocolate rabbits, tomatoes as big as beach balls, flowers that change color, and seashells in her garden.
How does your garden grow?
If You Plant a Seed
Published: March 3, 2015
If you plant a carrot seed . . . a carrot will grow.
If you plant a cabbage seed . . . cabbage will grow.
But what happens if you plant a seed of kindness . . . or selfishness?
Published: August 6, 2013
On a trip to the farmers’ market with her parents, Sophie chooses a squash, but instead of letting her mom cook it, she names it Bernice. From then on, Sophie brings Bernice everywhere, despite her parents’ gentle warnings that Bernice will begin to rot. As winter nears, Sophie does start to notice changes…. What’s a girl to do when the squash she loves is in trouble?
The Little Gardener
Published: August 11, 2015
There was once a little gardener and his garden meant everything to him. He worked hard, very hard, but he was just too little (or at least he felt he was).
In this gentle, beautiful tale, Emily Hughes, the celebrated author of Wild, departs from the larger than life Wild-girl of her debut to pursue a littler than life Gardener, in a story that teaches us just how important it is to persist and try, no matter what the odds.
What Will Grow?
Published: February 14, 2017
Seeds can be big or small, round or pointy, and all sorts of colors. They can become flowers, trees, fruits, or vegetables, and they sprout all times of year, during spring, summer, fall, and winter.
But all seeds have one thing in common–inside each is a new plant life waiting to emerge. What kind of plant will bloom? Wait and see what will grow!
Published: August 18, 2020
In a big city called New York
In a bustling neighborhood
There was an empty lot.
Nevaeh called it the haunted garden.
Harlem Grown tells the inspiring true story of how one man made a big difference in a neighborhood. After seeing how restless they were and their lack of healthy food options, Tony Hillery invited students from an underfunded school to turn a vacant lot into a beautiful and functional farm. By getting their hands dirty, these kids turned an abandoned space into something beautiful and useful while learning about healthy, sustainable eating and collaboration.
Five years later, the kids and their parents, with the support of the Harlem Grown staff, grow thousands of pounds of fruits and vegetables a year. All of it is given to the kids and their families. The incredible story is vividly brought to life with Jessie Hartland’s “charmingly busy art” (Booklist) that readers will pore over in search of new details as they revisit this poignant and uplifting tale over and over again.
Uncle John’s City Garden
Published: May 3, 2022
Visiting the city from her home in the suburbs, an African American girl sees how a few packets of seeds, some helping hands, and hard work transform an empty lot in a housing project into a magical place where vegetables grow and family gathers. It’s the magic of nature in the heart of the city!
Published: September 24, 2019
When a little girl moves from her home to an apartment in the city, she takes her pretty plants with her and one by one they grow and bloom and change both her world and the world all around her as she makes a new friend. When your heart is open, the world is full of possibilities.
What Grew In Larry’s Garden
Published: April 7, 2020
Grace thinks Larry’s garden is one of the wonders of the world. In his tiny backyard next door to hers, Larry grows the most extraordinary vegetables. Grace loves helping him – watering and weeding, planting and pruning, hoeing and harvesting. And whenever there’s a problem – like bugs burrowing into the carrots or slugs chewing the lettuce – Grace and Larry solve it together. Grace soon learns that Larry has big plans for the vegetables in his special garden. And when that garden faces its biggest problem yet, Grace follows Larry’s example to find the perfect solution.
Published: March 31, 2020
Grandma Dorothy shared her love of gardens with her daughter, Hillary, and her granddaughter, Chelsea. She taught them that gardens are magical places to learn, exciting spaces for discovery, quiet spots to spend time with family and beautiful areas to share stories and celebrate special occasions. But most of all, she taught them that in her gardens, her love grew and blossomed.
My Nana’s Garden
Published: March 23, 2021
My nana’s garden is tangled with weeds. “Wildflowers,” says Nana, “food for the bees.”
A little girl visits her grandmother in summer and winter, and together they explore the wonders of her garden. Until, one day, Nana isn’t there anymore. But as winter gives way to spring, the girl learns that life goes on, and so does the memory of those we love.
In Our Garden
Published: March 15, 2022
Millie has recently moved to a new city, from a place more than an ocean away. More than anything she misses the garden where her family used to grow food. Then one day she has an idea—the school has a fine flat roof, perfect for a garden. Soon her teacher and classmates are on board, but it takes more than ideas to build a garden. It takes supplies and hard work; it takes a lot of learning; and it takes a whole school—a whole community—coming together to help. And of course, it also takes a lot of waiting. But as Millie’s teacher Miss Mirales says, “Be patient. Good things take time.”
And Then the Seed Grew
Published: September 3, 2019
In an ordinary garden full of flowers and plants, some creatures have made their homes above the ground, while others live below it. Everybody lives happily. Until one day, a new seed arrives, which sprouts into a plant. And as the plant grows (and grows, and grows), its stalk and leaves get in the way of those who live aboveground, while its roots disrupt those who live below. It is a huge problem. So, the garden’s residents decide that it must be chopped down. Unless … wait! What’s that growing on the plant?
The Hidden Rainbow
Published: June 9, 2020
One little bee peeks out on a world of gray and snow.
She’s looking for bright colors and needs you to help them grow.
Bees need a healthy and colorful garden to survive. Luckily, all the colors of the rainbow are hidden in this garden—but the bees need the reader’s help to find them. Brush off the camellia tree, tickle the tulips, and even blow a kiss to the lilac tree. With every action and turn of the page, a flower blooms and more bees are drawn to the feast.
There they are: 30 of the best picture books about gardening. Which of these have you read and loved? What did I miss?
Nicole Grabner says
This list is fabulous! I especially love Rachel Igonotofsky – her books are excellent references in our homeschool classroom. 🙂 Do you happen to have a list of Middle Grade books about gardening? I’m looking for suggestions for both fiction and nonfiction for my teen. Thanks!