Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to plants. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about plants.
Our list includes board books, picture books, and chapter books. Board books are best for babies and toddlers from ages newborn to 2 or 3. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid, and you can also use our table of contents to jump to particular topics you think your kid will enjoy.
When it comes to children’s stories about plants, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like The Lorax to popular sellers like The Giving Tree to some of our favorite hidden gems like The Secret Garden.
We hope this list of kids books about plants can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book! As you explore the list, please comment below to let us know what books you would add.
Miss Rumphius - 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.
The Night Gardener - 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.
Caterpillar and Bean - Observe the ways plants and insects interact in a gentle introduction to growing for budding scientists. What’s that wedged in a crack in the ground, small and hard and wrinkly and brown? A bean seed! Soon it develops roots and leaves. And what’s that on the leaf? An egg! The egg hatches a caterpillar, and the caterpillar eats the leaves, getting bigger and bigger until it forms a chrysalis. Meanwhile, the plant is growing, too: it develops flowers, then bean pods, as it reaches up toward the sun. Side by side, plant and insect grow . . . and grow . . . and grow throughout the year, until they come full circle. This fourth book in the First Science Storybook series uses simple, clear language and colorful illustrations to inspire very young readers as they learn about life cycles.
Seeds Move! - Discover the fascinating and surprising ways that seeds move and find a place to grow in this gorgeous picture book from Caldecott Honoree Robin Page. 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.
Natural World - A first introduction to the natural world that looks at the myriad ways in which plants and animals have adapted to give themselves the best chance of survival. Natural World explores and explains why living things look and behave the way they do in a series of visually compelling information charts.
Flowers Are Calling - Rhyming text explores the wonders of natural cooperation between flowers and the animals and insects of the forest.
Want to see books about animals?
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Mrs. Peanuckle's Flower Alphabet - From the aster to the zinnia, Mrs. Peanuckle introduces very young children to 26 types of flowers from across the globe. For each one, she offers a single defining characteristic, some of them very surprising. Did you know that there are twice as many orchid species as bird species? It’s true! Do flowers taste good? Birds, bees, and butterflies sure think so! You’ll even find flowers in certain teas. With bold, colorful pages, strong graphic art, and exciting design, these flowers are certain to be remembered by the children and adults who share this book. Mrs. Peanuckle’s Flower Alphabet is the third title in a series of board books celebrating the joy of nature at home and in the backyard, from fresh fruits and vegetables to birds, bugs, and trees.
The Secret Garden - BabyLit® is a fashionable way to introduce your toddler to the world of classic literature. With clever, simple text by Jennifer Adams, paired with stylish design and illustrations by Sugar’s Alison Oliver, these books are a must for every savvy parent’s nursery library. This book introduces your toddler to Burnett’s, The Secret Garden.
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Our Tree Named Steve - Dear Kids, A long time ago, when you were little, Mom and I took you to where we wanted to build a house. . . . I remember there was one tree, however, that the three of you couldn’t stop staring at. . . . After the family spares him from the builders, Steve the tree quickly works his way into their lives. He holds their underwear when the dryer breaks down, he’s there when Adam and Lindsay get their first crushes, and he’s the centerpiece at their outdoor family parties. With a surprising lack of anthropomorphizing, this is a uniquely poignant celebration of fatherhood, families, love, and change.
Mrs. Peanuckle's Tree Alphabet - Whether they’re short or tall, pruny or smooth, full of berries or flowers or nuts, the 26 types of trees in this alphabet primer are sure to surprise and delight the youngest of readers (and their parents). After all, trees do more for us than sway in the wind. Did you know incense Cedars are perfect for making pencils? (So we can practice writing our ABCs.) Or that Katsura trees are great for climbing? (So we can discover more about trees!) With playful text, bright illustrations, and pages as strong as an oak, Mrs. Peanuckle’s trees will engage toddlers and take them on an alphabet adventure through the natural world. Mrs. Peanuckle’s Tree Alphabet is the sixth and final title in a series of board books celebrating the joy of nature at home and in the backyard, from fresh fruits and vegetables to birds, bugs, and trees.
A Tree is Nice - “Trees are very nice,” says Janice May Udry in her first book for children. She goes on to explain that even one tree is nice, if it is the only one you happen to have. Some of the reasons why trees are so good to have around are funny. Some are indisputable facts. But in all of them there is a sense of poetic simplicity and beauty which will be sure to entrance any young child. Whether he knows one tree or many, he will relish the descriptions of the delights to be had in, with, or under a tree. Marc Simont’s joyous pictures, half of them in full color, accentuate the child-like charm of the words. And each painting of a tree or trees shows just how very nice they can be.
The Hidden Rainbow - Illustrations and simple, rhyming text invite the reader to uncover the rainbow of colors hidden in a garden, which helps flowers bloom and bees find food. Includes facts about bees and their importance.
The Balcony - 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.
Little Acorn - Have you ever wondered what happens when a little acorn becomes a big oak tree? This beautifully illustrated story will delight children and parents alike, and also offers a perfect introduction to the life cycle of trees.
Sadie's Snowy Tu B'Shevat - Sadie wants to plant a tree for Tu B’Shevat. But it’s the middle of winter! Her parents and grandfather assure her that a tree can’t take root in the frozen ground. But with help from brother Ori and Grandma, Sadie learns why the tree-planting holiday is celebrated in winter and finds her own special ways to celebrate it.
The Bad Seed - From the New York Times bestselling author of the Goodnight Already! series This is a book about a bad seed. A baaaaaaaaaad seed. How bad? Do you really want to know? He has a bad temper, bad manners, and a bad attitude. He’s been bad since he can remember! This seed cuts in line every time, stares at everybody and never listens. But what happens when one mischievous little seed changes his mind about himself, and decides that he wants to be—happy? With Jory John’s charming and endearing text and bold expressive illustrations by Pete Oswald, here is The Bad Seed: a funny yet touching tale that reminds us of the remarkably transformative power of will, acceptance, and just being you. Perfect for readers young and old, The Bad Seed proves that positive change is possible for each and every one of us.
Little Boo - A pumpkin seed tries unsuccessfully to be scary until it grows into a pumpkin and Halloween arrives.
Seeds - Striking illustrations and a simple narrative celebrate the potential of seeds, literal and metaphorical. Some seeds are whisked away by the wind, while others are carried by creatures to their destinations. Once seeds find their spot, they go through breathtaking transformations, multiplying in number and size and thriving in even the most unseemly places. We humans plant seeds, too, and with care we can cultivate and nurture something wonderful, whether by sowing a seed in the earth or by choosing our own seeds of kindness to spread around. With gorgeous, welcoming illustrations, the creator of Trees and Birds presents another ode to the beauty around and within us.
It Starts With a Seed - In gentle rhyme, It Starts With a Seed evocatively explores the growth of a tiny sycamore seed. Taking a journey through the seasons and years, we follow the seed as it transforms from a seedling to a sapling, then a young tree, until it becomes a large tree with its branches and roots filling the page. As the tree grows, it is joined by well-loved woodland creatures – squirrels and rabbits, butterflies and owls – who make it their home. Beautiful and evocative, It Starts With a Seed is a factual story that will touch children with its simple but enchanting message of life and growth.
The Bug Girl - Maria Sibylla Merian was fascinated with insects. But when Maria was a girl in the mid-1600s, superstitions about bugs prevented most people from taking a close look. People thought bugs were evil—and anyone interested in such creatures was surely evil too. That didn’t stop Maria. Filled with curiosity, she began to study and paint them. She even witnessed silkworms form cocoons and transform into moths—discovering metamorphosis! Painting and drawing as she studied, Maria pushed the boundaries of what girls were expected to do, eventually gaining recognition as one of the first entomologists and scientific illustrators. This gorgeously illustrated biography celebrates a fascinating female pioneer who broke boundaries in both the arts and sciences.
Stay Out of the Basement - With their father conducting strange experiments with plants in the basement, Margaret and Casey begin to investigate and soon discover that their father has begun to resemble a plant.
Want to see books about botany?
What Will Grow? - From the team behind the gorgeous What Will Hatch? comes a companion book all about seeds and the plants that grow from them—and featuring four pull-out gatefolds. “An enchanting vision” - Publishers Weekly, starred review.
Plants Can't Sit Still - Do plants really move? Absolutely! You might be surprised by all ways plants can move. Plants might not pick up their roots and walk away, but they definitely don’t sit still! Discover the many ways plants (and their seeds) move. Whether it’s a sunflower, a Venus flytrap, or an exotic plant like an exploding cucumber, this fascinating picture book shows just how excitingly active plants really are.
From seed to plant - With simple language and bright illustrations, non-fiction master Gail Gibbons introduces young readers to the processes of pollination, seed formation, and germination. Important vocabulary is reinforced with accessible explanation and colorful, clear diagrams showing the parts of plants, the wide variety of seeds, and how they grow.
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.