I’m been looking for some books – both factual and fiction – as a gift for a four-year-old whose parents hope to get enthused about gardening this year. So not so much books aimed at parents, but things they can read and do with the child, and perhaps some bedtime/quiet time stories along the same lines.
I couldn’t find any good reviews so I thought I’d start by including my “longlist” here – any comments would be very welcome, particularly on whether individual books would be suitable for such a young age. Many books, understandably, seem to focus on the slightly older (6-7 plus) child and I don’t want to choose anything that might put them off by being too advanced.
Mabel’s Magical Garden – Paula Metcalf
Rosie Plants a Radish – Kate Petty
Ben Plants a Butterfly Garden – Kate Petty
How a Seed Grows (Let’s-Read-And-Find-Out Science: Stage 1) – Helene J. Jordan
Doing the Garden – Sarah Garland
Ten Seeds – Ruth Brown
The Bad-tempered Ladybird (Picture Puffin) – Eric Carle (I’m also keen to find “let’s love the creepy-crawlies themed books!)
Eddie’s Garden: and How to Make Things Grow – Sarah Garland
The World Came to My Place Today (Eden Project Books) – Jo Readman (slightly broader but an Eden Project book that sounds nice)
The Tiny Seed (Picture Puffin) – Eric Carle
The Seed I Planted (Wonderwise Readers) – MANNING MANNING AND MANNING
Let’s Grow a Garden (Lets Environment Series) – Alison Reynolds
I’m inclined to add a few classic fairytales like Jack and the Beanstalk, The Enormous Turnip, Cinderella (for the pumpkin of course!) and Rapunzel here.
Factual books (these are especially difficult to gauge suitability)
Gardening with Young Children (Early Years) – Beatrys Lockie
Gardening with Kids – Martyn Cox
The Gardening Book – Jane Bull
Grow It, Eat It – Dorling Kindersley
Grow Organic, Eat Organic – Lone Morton
What Shall I Grow? (What Shall I Do Today?) – Ray Gibson
First Garden Activity Book (First Activity) – Angela Wilkes
Grow Your Own Nasturtiums (Eden Project Books) – Ley Honor Roberts (also one on sweet peas but nasturtiums are edible so they win!)
Let’s Grow (Kids’ Gardening) – Parragon Book Service
With factual books I’m wary of the “garden design for children” approach; I am looking for books about growing things rather than constructing treehouses, fitting slides and the art of wedging as much brightly-coloured plastic in to your garden as possible. Cress in eggshells, the joy of peas from the pod, and funny-shaped carrots are definitely more in the right line, so if anyone does read this and knows the perfect book along these lines please let me know!
And if I do get hold of a couple of these I’ll aim to update this page with my comments, too.
Updates to this post:
Jasper’s Beanstalk by Mick Inkpen – I found this in WHS and had a look through, although there aren’t a lot of words I could see it being a good choice for learning to read, and while I take issue with the mowing bit (!) it’s definitely one to consider. Amazon actually rates it for 4-6 year olds.
Growing Vegetables is Fun by Emma Cooper – I left it off my original list because it’s for fractionally older children, as Emma says in the comments below. I have seen it in the shops and it looks good value, with seeds included to encourage action as well as thinking, so I thought I’d add it in here in case anyone finding this page is also after gardening books for school age children.