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59 Gorgeous Kids Books About Gardening

Updated Apr. 16, 2019

Claude Monet, the famous impressionist painter, said, "“My garden is my most beautiful masterpiece."

Gardening teaches about patience, love, care, and transformation. In all of these books, readers young and old are reminded of the beauty that starts with a little seed and how some love and effort can make something extraordinary.

Top 10 Gardening Books

The Secret Garden book
#1
The Secret Garden
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Thoughts from The Goodfather

The Secret Garden is one of my favorite stories from my childhood. I love Mary's self discovery and her help to Colin and ultimately Mr. Craven along the way. I love the way she gains color in her cheeks as she experiences the joy of playing and working outside and nurturing a garden and befriending a robin, joys that Martha and Dickon help her discover. I love that she feels the happiness that comes as she moves from a very self-centered character to thinking of others and putting their needs and wellbeing above her own. She also is lovingly forthright and frank with Colin, which helped him develop, too.

After losing her parents, young Mary Lennox is sent from India to live in her uncle’s gloomy mansion on the wild English moors. She is lonely and has no one to play with, but one day she learns of a secret garden somewhere in the grounds that no one is allowed to enter. Then Mary uncovers an old key in a flowerbed – and a gust of magic leads her to the hidden door. Slowly she turns the key and enters a world she could never have imagined.

How to Grow a Friend book
#2
How to Grow a Friend
Written and illustrated by Sara Gillingham
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

A lovely metaphor teaches valuable lessons in how to treat others and make friendships blossom! Making a friend takes patience, care, and room to bloom--just like growing a flower. Soon your little gardeners will have their very own green thumbs for this most important of life skills.

Miss Rumphius book
#3
Miss Rumphius
Written and illustrated by Barbara Cooney
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

A beloved classic is lovelier than ever! Barbara Cooney’s story of Alice Rumphius, who longed to travel the world, live in a house by the sea, and do something to make the world more beautiful, has a timeless quality that resonates with each new generation. The countless lupines that bloom along the coast of Maine are the legacy of the real Miss Rumphius, the Lupine Lady, who scattered lupine seeds everywhere she went. Miss Rumphius received the American Book Award in the year of publication. To celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of two-time Caldecott winner Barbara Cooney’s best-loved book, Viking has reoriginated the illustrations, going back to the original art to ensure state-of-the-art reproduction of Cooney’s exquisite artwork. The art for Miss Rumphius has a permanent home in the Bowdoin College Museum of Art.

Plant the Tiny Seed book
#4
Plant the Tiny Seed
Written and illustrated by Christie Matheson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

This cute interactive book is fun because it has more then just pressing or tilting the book, you get to clap and wiggle your fingers (along with other fun tasks) to plant seeds and help them grow into beautiful flowers!

There is magic in every tiny seed. The seeds that come in little paper packets and those that fall from flowers and plants. In every garden and every flowerpot, magic can grow. With a little sunlight, a little water, and a little help from birds and worms and bees, a tiny seed sprouts, a plant grows, and a beautiful f lower blooms. There is magic in every tiny seed. And in this book, you become the magician. How? Press the seed into the ground, wiggle your fingers to add water, clap to bring the sun. And then . . .turn the page. What can grow from one tiny seed? Press, tap, wiggle, and jiggle to start the magic! Press the seed—don’t be shy! Wiggle your fingers to add some water. Clap your hands to bring the sun. Wow! A beautiful flower!

Up in the garden down in the dirt book
#5
Up in the garden down in the dirt
Written by Kate Messner and illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

I love this beautiful, unique look at a garden, as it shows what's happening above and below the ground and pairs it with sweet sentiments of gardening with family and creating something beautiful together. This book shows the efforts of diligent work, and it also shows the beauty in nature around us, both in plants and animals.

In this exuberant and lyrical follow-up to the award-winning Over and Under the Snow, discover the wonders that lie hidden between stalks, under the shade of leaves . . . and down in the dirt. Explore the hidden world and many lives of a garden through the course of a year! 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 animals that make a garden their home.

The Night Gardener book
#6
The Night Gardener
Written and illustrated by Eric Fan, Terry Fan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Everyone on Grimloch Lane enjoys the trees and shrubs clipped into animal masterpieces after dark by the Night Gardener, but William, a lonely boy, spots the artist, follows him, and helps with his special work.

The Curious Garden book
#7
The Curious Garden
Written and illustrated by Peter Brown
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

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. This is an enchanting tale with environmental themes and breathtaking illustrations that become more vibrant as the garden blooms. Red-headed Liam can also be spotted on every page, adding a clever seek-and-find element to this captivating picture book.

The Little Gardener book
#8
The Little Gardener
Written and illustrated by Emily Hughes
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

I loved the fun take on having a "little" gardener who tries to make the garden look beautiful by working as hard as he can, but in the end, he needs a little help from someone bigger. His efforts inspire those around him to work harder and he gets the help he needs! This book is darling.

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 beautifully gentle tale, Emily Hughes, the celebrated author of Wild, once again transports us to a world not unlike our own, but still brimming with fantasy and wonder.

Up in the Garden and Down in the dirt book
#9
Up in the Garden and Down in the dirt
Written by Kate Messner and illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

I love this beautiful, unique look at a garden, as it shows what's happening above and below the ground and pairs it with sweet sentiments of gardening with family and creating something beautiful together. This book shows the efforts of diligent work, and it also shows the beauty in nature around us, both in plants and animals.

A companion to the new Over and Under the Pond and the beloved Over and Under the Snow, this sweet exploration of the hidden world and many lives of a garden through the course of a year "could not be more lovely," according to the Washington Post. Up in the garden, the world is full of green—leaves and sprouts, growing vegetables, ripening fruit. But down in the dirt there is a busy world of earthworms digging, snakes hunting, skunks burrowing, and all the other animals that make a garden their home. In this exuberant and lyrical book, discover the wonders that lie hidden between stalks, under the shade of leaves...and down in the dirt.

The Tree Lady book
#10
The Tree Lady
Written by H. Joseph Hopkins and illustrated by Jill McElmurry
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-10
Thoughts from Mr. Staccato

This is a perfect book for a gardening list. A true story about a strong woman with a vision for how she could beautify a city with her love and knowledge of gardening.

Unearth the true story of green-thumbed pioneer and activist Kate Sessions, who helped San Diego grow from a dry desert town into a lush, leafy city known for its gorgeous parks and gardens. Katherine Olivia Sessions never thought she’d live in a place without trees. After all, Kate grew up among the towering pines and redwoods of Northern California. But after becoming the first woman to graduate from the University of California with a degree in science, she took a job as a teacher far south in the dry desert town of San Diego. Where there were almost no trees. Kate decided that San Diego needed trees more than anything else. So this trailblazing young woman singlehandedly started a massive movement that transformed the town into the green, garden-filled oasis it is today. Now, more than 100 years after Kate first arrived in San Diego, her gorgeous gardens and parks can be found all over the city. Part fascinating biography, part inspirational story, this moving picture book about following your dreams, using your talents, and staying strong in the face of adversity is sure to resonate with readers young and old.

Books About Nature & Gardening

The Secret Garden book
#1
The Secret Garden
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Thoughts from The Goodfather

The Secret Garden is one of my favorite stories from my childhood. I love Mary's self discovery and her help to Colin and ultimately Mr. Craven along the way. I love the way she gains color in her cheeks as she experiences the joy of playing and working outside and nurturing a garden and befriending a robin, joys that Martha and Dickon help her discover. I love that she feels the happiness that comes as she moves from a very self-centered character to thinking of others and putting their needs and wellbeing above her own. She also is lovingly forthright and frank with Colin, which helped him develop, too.

After losing her parents, young Mary Lennox is sent from India to live in her uncle’s gloomy mansion on the wild English moors. She is lonely and has no one to play with, but one day she learns of a secret garden somewhere in the grounds that no one is allowed to enter. Then Mary uncovers an old key in a flowerbed – and a gust of magic leads her to the hidden door. Slowly she turns the key and enters a world she could never have imagined.

Miss Rumphius book
#2
Miss Rumphius
Written and illustrated by Barbara Cooney
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

A beloved classic is lovelier than ever! Barbara Cooney’s story of Alice Rumphius, who longed to travel the world, live in a house by the sea, and do something to make the world more beautiful, has a timeless quality that resonates with each new generation. The countless lupines that bloom along the coast of Maine are the legacy of the real Miss Rumphius, the Lupine Lady, who scattered lupine seeds everywhere she went. Miss Rumphius received the American Book Award in the year of publication. To celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of two-time Caldecott winner Barbara Cooney’s best-loved book, Viking has reoriginated the illustrations, going back to the original art to ensure state-of-the-art reproduction of Cooney’s exquisite artwork. The art for Miss Rumphius has a permanent home in the Bowdoin College Museum of Art.

Up in the garden down in the dirt book
#3
Up in the garden down in the dirt
Written by Kate Messner and illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

I love this beautiful, unique look at a garden, as it shows what's happening above and below the ground and pairs it with sweet sentiments of gardening with family and creating something beautiful together. This book shows the efforts of diligent work, and it also shows the beauty in nature around us, both in plants and animals.

In this exuberant and lyrical follow-up to the award-winning Over and Under the Snow, discover the wonders that lie hidden between stalks, under the shade of leaves . . . and down in the dirt. Explore the hidden world and many lives of a garden through the course of a year! 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 animals that make a garden their home.

Honorable Mentions
  1. The Curious Garden - 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. This is an enchanting tale with environmental themes and breathtaking illustrations that become more vibrant as the garden blooms. Red-headed Liam can also be spotted on every page, adding a clever seek-and-find element to this captivating picture book.

  2. The Little Gardener - B is for Bookworm - I loved the fun take on having a "little" gardener who tries to make the garden look beautiful by working as hard as he can, but in the end, he needs a little help from someone bigger. His efforts inspire those around him to work harder and he gets the help he needs! This book is darling.

  3. Miss Maple's Seeds - B is for Bookworm - Miss Maple goes around each season to gather lost seeds, and then nurtures and teaches them before helping them get planted and bloom. This is a sweet story with an underlying message that even the biggest, grandest trees start from a small seed.

  4. Planting a Rainbow - This educational and enjoyable book helps children understand how to plant bulbs, seeds, and seedlings, and nurture their growth. Lois Ehlert's bold collage illustrations include six pages of staggered width, presenting all the flowers of each color of the rainbow.

Want to see even more books about gardening and nature?

How about books about nature?

Books About Flowers & Gardening

The Secret Garden book
#1
The Secret Garden
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Thoughts from The Goodfather

The Secret Garden is one of my favorite stories from my childhood. I love Mary's self discovery and her help to Colin and ultimately Mr. Craven along the way. I love the way she gains color in her cheeks as she experiences the joy of playing and working outside and nurturing a garden and befriending a robin, joys that Martha and Dickon help her discover. I love that she feels the happiness that comes as she moves from a very self-centered character to thinking of others and putting their needs and wellbeing above her own. She also is lovingly forthright and frank with Colin, which helped him develop, too.

After losing her parents, young Mary Lennox is sent from India to live in her uncle’s gloomy mansion on the wild English moors. She is lonely and has no one to play with, but one day she learns of a secret garden somewhere in the grounds that no one is allowed to enter. Then Mary uncovers an old key in a flowerbed – and a gust of magic leads her to the hidden door. Slowly she turns the key and enters a world she could never have imagined.

Miss Rumphius book
#2
Miss Rumphius
Written and illustrated by Barbara Cooney
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

A beloved classic is lovelier than ever! Barbara Cooney’s story of Alice Rumphius, who longed to travel the world, live in a house by the sea, and do something to make the world more beautiful, has a timeless quality that resonates with each new generation. The countless lupines that bloom along the coast of Maine are the legacy of the real Miss Rumphius, the Lupine Lady, who scattered lupine seeds everywhere she went. Miss Rumphius received the American Book Award in the year of publication. To celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of two-time Caldecott winner Barbara Cooney’s best-loved book, Viking has reoriginated the illustrations, going back to the original art to ensure state-of-the-art reproduction of Cooney’s exquisite artwork. The art for Miss Rumphius has a permanent home in the Bowdoin College Museum of Art.

Plant the Tiny Seed book
#3
Plant the Tiny Seed
Written and illustrated by Christie Matheson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

This cute interactive book is fun because it has more then just pressing or tilting the book, you get to clap and wiggle your fingers (along with other fun tasks) to plant seeds and help them grow into beautiful flowers!

There is magic in every tiny seed. The seeds that come in little paper packets and those that fall from flowers and plants. In every garden and every flowerpot, magic can grow. With a little sunlight, a little water, and a little help from birds and worms and bees, a tiny seed sprouts, a plant grows, and a beautiful f lower blooms. There is magic in every tiny seed. And in this book, you become the magician. How? Press the seed into the ground, wiggle your fingers to add water, clap to bring the sun. And then . . .turn the page. What can grow from one tiny seed? Press, tap, wiggle, and jiggle to start the magic! Press the seed—don’t be shy! Wiggle your fingers to add some water. Clap your hands to bring the sun. Wow! A beautiful flower!

Honorable Mentions
  1. Miss Maple's Seeds - B is for Bookworm - Miss Maple goes around each season to gather lost seeds, and then nurtures and teaches them before helping them get planted and bloom. This is a sweet story with an underlying message that even the biggest, grandest trees start from a small seed.

  2. Planting a Rainbow - This educational and enjoyable book helps children understand how to plant bulbs, seeds, and seedlings, and nurture their growth. Lois Ehlert's bold collage illustrations include six pages of staggered width, presenting all the flowers of each color of the rainbow.

  3. The Tiny Seed - With his inimitable bright collage art and simple text, Carle follows the journey of a seed, from being blown by the wind to taking root and sprouting seeds of its own. Full color.

  4. Secret Garden - In The Secret Garden, preschoolers befriend robins and other animals along with Mary, Dickon, Martha, and Colin, experiencing the transformative magic of a well-loved garden. Little readers not only see the garden flourish, but they watch how Mary and Colin blossom with attention and friendship. Quotes from the original text are woven throughout this retelling, and the beautiful artwork creates a book to be treasured through childhood and beyond.

Want to see even more books about gardening and flowers?

How about books about flowers?

Books About Friendship & Gardening

How to Grow a Friend book
#1
How to Grow a Friend
Written and illustrated by Sara Gillingham
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

A lovely metaphor teaches valuable lessons in how to treat others and make friendships blossom! Making a friend takes patience, care, and room to bloom--just like growing a flower. Soon your little gardeners will have their very own green thumbs for this most important of life skills.

Sophie's Squash book
#2
Sophie's Squash
Written by Pat Zietlow Miller and illustrated by Anne Wilsdorf
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

Sophie's grocery turns into her best friend, and later, her new squash plant! This cute story about an unexpected garden is so fun and I love that Sophie turns the squash into her friends by drawing faces on them.

"Perfect for the fall season, Sophie's Squash is a delightful story of friendship and imagination." - Seira Wilson, Amazon Editor 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 recipient of four starred reviews, an Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Honor, and a Charlotte Zolotow Honor, Sophie's Squash will be a fresh addition to any collection of autumn books.

The Year of the Garden book
#3
The Year of the Garden
Written by Andrea Cheng and illustrated by Patrice Barton
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

In this prequel to The Year of the Book, join Anna in a year of discovery, new beginnings, friendships, and growth.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Badger's Perfect Garden - Badger is ready to plant the perfect garden. He has spent months gathering and sorting seeds. His friends come to help. After the seeds are planted, everyone celebrates. But then a rainstorm comes and washes away all of their hard work. Is the garden ruined?

  2. The Rough Patch - Evan and his dog do everything together. They play and read and eat. But mostly you will find them tending to Evan’s extraordinary garden, where flowers and other good things flourish and reach for the sky. But friends don’t always stay forever, and when Evan loses his, he destroys the place that meant the most to them, and creates something to match his mood. Something ugly and twisted, sad and stubborn, ragged and rough—and he likes it that way. Until one day . . . New York Times–bestselling author Brian Lies has created a breathtakingly beautiful and luminescent book about loss and grief, love and hope, and the healing power of friendship, curiosity, and nature.

  3. The Secret Garden - Join Mary, Dickon, and Colin on their heartwarming journey of friendship and gardening magic. Filled with interactive wheels and pull-tabs, and lavishly illustrated, The Secret Garden is an unprecedented kid's introduction to Frances Hodgson Burnett's beloved classic novel. Unlike many board books that tackle the classics, Lit for Little Hands tells the actual story in simple, engaging prose. Gorgeous springtime illustrations transport the reader to the gardens and halls of Misselthwaite Manor, while tons of interactive elements invite kids to help Mary discover the secret garden, make friends, and help Colin walk! Fans of the novel will be delighted by the book's attention to detail and clever use of original text and dialogue. And the book's super-sturdy board means everyone can enjoy this tale over . . . and over . . . and over again! The magic of the secret garden will return each time you read!

  4. The Little Green Girl - Mr. Aster, who likes routine, is happy to care for Little Green Girl when she arrives in his garden, but not interested in helping her see the world beyond its walls.

Want to see even more books about gardening and friendship?

How about books about friendship?

Books About Vegetables & Gardening

Sophie's Squash book
#1
Sophie's Squash
Written by Pat Zietlow Miller and illustrated by Anne Wilsdorf
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

Sophie's grocery turns into her best friend, and later, her new squash plant! This cute story about an unexpected garden is so fun and I love that Sophie turns the squash into her friends by drawing faces on them.

"Perfect for the fall season, Sophie's Squash is a delightful story of friendship and imagination." - Seira Wilson, Amazon Editor 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 recipient of four starred reviews, an Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Honor, and a Charlotte Zolotow Honor, Sophie's Squash will be a fresh addition to any collection of autumn books.

The Carrot Seed book
#2
The Carrot Seed
Written by Ruth Krauss and illustrated by Crockett Johnson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

When a little boy plants a carrot seed, everyone tells him it won't grow. But when you are very young, there are some things that you just know, and the little boy knows that one day a carrot will come up. So he waters his seed, and pulls the weeds, and he waits ... First published in 1945 and never out of print, this timeless combination of Ruth Krauss's simple text and Crockett Johnson's eloquent illustrations creates a triumphant and deeply satisfying story for readers of all ages.

Growing Vegetable Soup book
#3
Growing Vegetable Soup
Written and illustrated by Lois Ehlert
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

A father and child grow vegetables and then make them into a soup.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Sylvia's Spinach - B is for Bookworm - Sylvia thinks spinach is disgusting, but it turns out that a classroom effort to create a garden changes her mind! She ends up helping to plant the spinach in their garden, tries it, and ends up loving it.

  2. Pete Moss and the Super Strong Spinach - Follow Pete Moss in this magical, beautifully illustrated story as he attends boarding school on Bloomers Island to learn about gardening and growing his own vegetables. When Professor Sage announces the Very Very Veggie Challenge, Pete immediately knows what he needs to grow spinach. It’s the one vegetable that can make him stronger. But does Pete have the patience to grow his spinach plants to win the contest? With the help of headmaster Professor Sage and his fellow Bloomers, Pete learns all about spinach, working hard toward his goals, and that good things take time to happen! The Bloomers series brings to life the world of gardening and healthy-eating to young children in new and exciting ways.

  3. Before We Eat: From Farm to Table - As a family sits down to enjoy a meal, thoughts of those who provide the food, from farmers who plant and tend seeds to store clerks who sell groceries, fill each one with gratitude.

  4. Plants Feed Me - An elegant, easy-to-read text and beautiful illustrations describe the parts of plants that humans eat. Watermelons are fruits. Cabbages are leaves. Walnuts are seeds. Carrots are roots. People eat many parts of plants. Even flowers! Detailed illustrations teach new readers about the edible parts of different plants, including leaves, flowers, stems, roots, and seeds. Labeled diagrams explain how an apple seed can grow into a new plant, reveal how a walnut is contained within its shell, and show how wheat seeds make flour.

Want to see even more books about gardening and vegetables?

How about books about vegetables?

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