Ready, Set, Read – and Grow!

Get Gardening with Your Kids

By Sara Barry

Do you have a green thumb? Even if you’ve never gardened, you may want to try it with your kids. Gardening teaches a lot about the life cycles of both plants and insects. Gardens can look and smell beautiful – and taste good too! And as a bonus, kids who grow veggies are often more likely to try eating them.

You can grow things almost anywhere. Try a patch of your yard, a community garden plot, some planters on a patio or deck, or even a few pots on a window sill.

Need a little more inspiration? Try these books about gardening to get you excited. Then go get your hands dirty!

Grandpa’s Garden

By Stella Fry

Billy gardens with his grandfather. He’s impatient about everything but learns to wait for seeds to sprout, and for birds to eat the insects that are eating their plants. The back of the book has suggested garden plans and activities for each season.

Growing Vegetable Soup

Written and illustrated by Lois Ehlert

The characters are largely unseen in this book, but dad and kids grow vegetables and turn them into soup. Ehlert’s unique illustration style includes labels to help readers identify seeds, sprouts and tools. The last page includes a recipe for vegetable soup. Ehlert’s Planting a Rainbow may be of interest too.

Jo MacDonald Had a Garden

By Mary Quattlebaum, illustrated by Laura J. Bryant

Drawing on the tune “Old MacDonald,” Jo MacDonald Had a Garden brings readers into the garden where Jo, Old MacDonald’s granddaughter, and her cousin Mike go from planting to reaping. Kids have fun looking for the new plant or animal added to each spread. The back of the book includes information on all the plants and animals added, along with activities, tips, and resources for young gardeners.

Inch by Inch: The Garden Song

By David Mallett, pictures by Ora Eitan

The book features the classic song “Inch by Inch.” The lyrics and images connect the gardener with natural chains and cycles.

Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt

By Kate Messner

This beautifully illustrated book shows what’s happening, the shoots and leaves and other plant parts kids will see, but it also shows what might be less visible, the worms and roots and bugs down in the dirt.

Square Foot Gardening with Kids

By Mel Bartholomew

Square foot gardening is a specific method of compact planting in a tight space, and Bartholomew, who popularized the idea decades ago, explains how to get started and succeed. This book is designed for adults who want to garden with kids and has specific ideas on gardening with kids at different ages and stages from toddlers to teens.

Roots, Shoots, Buckets, and Boots

By Sharon Lovejoy

Sharon Lovejoy loves introducing children to gardens. In this and other books, she has lots of ideas for making gardening fun. Imagine a garden that tells time by when the flowers bloom or lettuce spelling out your child’s name or a cucumber inside a bottle. She’ll show you how to do that and grow a sunflower house or a bean and flower teepee and so much more.

Grow: A Family Guide to Growing Fruits and Vegetables Together

By Ben Raskin

This basic introduction gets you thinking about what plants need, the tools you need to get started, and some info on the top fruits and vegetables. There’s also a chapter on planning your garden.

Ready, Set, Grow! A Kid’s Guide to Gardening

By Rebecca Spohn

Whether you want to garden inside or out, there’s something for you in this book. It also includes recipes using food you’ve grown and garden craft projects.

Gardening How To Gardening Lab for Kids

By Renata Brown

The subtitle of this book says it all: 52 Experiments to Learn, Grow, Harvest, Make, Play and Enjoy Your Garden. If you are looking to maximize production in a garden, this isn’t the book, but if you want to maximize fun, check this one out.