Nature and Gardening Books for Children

Nature and Gardening Books for Children

Discover the benefits of having children involved in gardening. Explore a list of wonderful fiction and non-fiction gardening books for children to promote a love of nature.

Nature and Gardening Books for Children

Gardening Books for Children

Are you lucky enough to have a school garden or a space to grow plants? Maybe you have a gardening club. If so, take advantage of this to connect your students and budding young gardeners with nature and the surrounding environment.

Using Gardening Books to Promote a Love of Nature

There are many benefits to having children involved in gardening which you can find listed below. If you don’t have an outdoor garden at your school read the suggested picture books about gardens to promote a love of nature with your students.

  • The results of gardening do not happen overnight so your students will learn responsibility, patience and focus. They will only get visual results if they put in the effort to care for the plants.
  • Gardening in schools encourages cooperation and social skills. Students must work together to plant and care for the garden.
  • Your students will learn about different plants, fruits and vegetables and the caring process involved. This leads to learning more about how the weather effects gardening and insects and birds drawn to the garden.
  • Working outdoors in a garden promotes physical activity and a more healthy lifestyle. Children are more likely to eat foods they have grown themselves.

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Suggested Gardening Books for Children

And then it’s Spring by Julie Fogliano

A boy plants seeds in the brown earth of winter. As the seasons change he checks on the seeds and waits. The boy’s patience is rewarded when he sees green shoots and the colour of spring all around him.

A Child’s Garden by Michael Foreman

In an environment of war and poverty, a home is turned into rubble. But a boy sees hope in a small green shoot growing towards the sun. He gently encourages the plant to grow, creating a garden of hope and harmony.

Cloud Forest by Victoria Turnbull

A young boy’s magical times with his grandfather helps him cope with his death. He understands, through his Umpa’s stories, his grandfather will never leave him.

Focuses on coping with death, storytelling and asking questions.

The Curious Garden by Peter Brown

Liam’s curiosity leads him to explore an elevated train track. He discovers dying flowers and begins to nurture them. His dedication pays off when the flowers grow and start spreading over the city.

Promotes the environment, patience and a sense of community.

The Digger and the Flower by Joseph Kuefler

A digger spots a single blue flower on the construction site. Dozer charges in and cuts the flower down. An upset Digger salvages the seeds. He travels far away, plants them on a hill, and cares for the seeds as they grow.

Promotes responsible decision-making, compassion and social awareness.

The Extraordinary Gardener by Sam Boughton

Using his favourite book as inspiration, Joe plants a garden in his grey world. With a bit of patience, a garden with exotic plants and animals grows on his balcony and inspires the rest of the community.

Promotes a growth mindset, enthusiasm and perseverance.

Florette by Anna Walker

Mae loves gardening at her home in the countryside. When her family moves to an apartment in the concrete jungle of Paris, Mae feels lonely and longs for her garden. Through her adaptability, patience and perseverance, she creates her own green oasis in the city.

Flower Garden by Eve Bunting

A young girl buys plants from a market before travelling home on the bus with her father. She creates a window garden as a surprise for her mother’s birthday.

The Garden of Hope by Isabel Otter

A young girl grieving the death of her mother transforms a neglected garden into a place of beauty, love and hope.

Green Green by Marie Lamba

Watch as a group of neighbourhood children come together to create a community garden in the middle of the city. Promotes community and cooperation.

A Green Place to Be: The Creation of Central Park by Ashley Benham Yazdani

In 1858, the fast-growing New York City gets some green space with the creation of Central Park. The book includes biographies of Vaux and Olmsted who designed this amazing outdoor space.

Harlem Grown: How One Big Idea Transformed a Neighborhood by Tony Hillery

Tony Hillery turned an abandoned space in Harlem into an inner-city garden with the help of the community. Local children learn about sustainable eating, healthy living and collaboration. One man’s inspiring vision now provides thousands of pounds of fresh fruit and vegetables to Harlem families.

I Am Farmer by Baptiste Paul

Tantoh Nforba is an inspiring environmentalist and farmer who brought clean water and green gardens to the country of Cameroon.

In a Garden by Tim McCanna

Follow along as a seed grows in a garden full of flowers, living in harmony with insects that help the garden bloom. Bonus material includes facts about a garden ecosystem.

The Little Gardener by Emily Hughes

A little gardener goes into a deep, long sleep wishing he had help. His beautiful zinnia inspires two children to care for the garden. He wakes to discover his garden has transformed into a beautiful, blooming landscape.

Promotes caring for the environment, perseverance and kindness.

Nature Trail by Benjamin Zephaniah

Celebrate the world around us with poetry about our natural environment. Take a closer look at nature and the life that surrounds us. What can you find at the bottom of a garden, in flowerpots, in the cracks of the pavement and in big green spaces?

The Night Gardener by Terry Fan

William wakes to see a tree had transformed into an owl. This was followed by a cat, a rabbit, a parakeet and an elephant. One night William spots the Night Gardener, who invites William to help. The change in seasons erases all evidence of the Night Gardener, but William and the neighbourhood are changed forever.

Promotes a sense of community, social awareness, appreciation and inferring.

Ojiichan's Gift by Chieri Uegaki

Mayumi’s grandfather created a Japanese garden with different sized stones rather than grass and flowers. Every summer Mayumi helps her Ojiichan tend the garden. When Ojiichan becomes too old to care for his home, Mayumi uses her perseverance and initiative to keep the garden’s memory alive for both of them.

The Pond by Nicola Davies

A young boy describes the loss of his father and how family members experience grief in different ways. They try to cope by rebuilding the pond he created when he was alive.

Reinforces themes of acceptance, bereavement, relationship skills and self-management.

The Secret Garden by Claire Freedman

After the death of her parents in India, a young girl is sent to live in Yorkshire at the home of her uncle. Alone and bad-mannered, she explores the estate and discovers a neglected and secret garden. With the help of a young gardener, she makes new friends and returns the garden to its former glory.

Reinforces themes of curiosity, determination, loneliness, and friendship.

That Neighbor Kid by Daniel Miyares

In this wordless book, a girl watches with curiosity as her new neighbour makes a treehouse in his back garden. When she finds the courage to say hello the boy invites her into the newly made den and she makes a new friend.

The Ugly Vegetables by Grace Lin

A young girl prefers beautiful flowers to the ugly vegetable in her family garden. When she tastes her mother’s Chinese vegetable soup, she realises appearance isn’t important and everything has its own beauty.

Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt by Kate Messner

Discover the different worlds above and below the earth. Up above you will find plants, vegetables, fruits and leaves. Down below we see all the animals who make their home in a garden.

Wangari Maathai by Franck Prevot

The inspiring Wangari Maathai started a movement in Africa to prevent deforestation. She encouraged African women to plant trees leading to thriving farms and communities. She then gave seedlings to men, school children and even soldiers,

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What Next?

These gardening book suggestions will motivate all would-be gardeners, not just the green-fingered ones. Check out this PBS article about how gardening affects a child’s brain, body and soul.

Do you have a school garden or gardening club? Let me know about it in the comments below! 

Do you have any favourite picture books about gardens or the outdoors in your classroom? Let me know in the comments below. It would be great to have a selection of recommended books to choose from when I update this post.

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Nature and Gardening Books for Children

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