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Plants: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best kids books about plants?

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.

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Top 10 Books About Plants

#1
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The Secret Garden
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.
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
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.
#2
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Mrs. Peanuckle's Fruit Alphabet
Written by Mrs. Peanuckle & illustrated by Jessie Ford
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5
Mrs. Peanuckle’s Fruit Alphabet introduces babies and toddlers to the colorful foods that will help them grow up to be healthy and strong. Children and parents alike will want to devour the fun facts and charming illustrations of fruits from the familiar banana to the not as familiar yumberry. Mrs. Peanuckle’s Fruit Alphabet is the second in a series of board books celebrating the joy nature brings to young children at home and in the backyard, from fresh fruits and vegetables to birds, bugs, flowers, and trees.
#3
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Nobody Hugs A Cactus
Written & illustrated by Carter Goodrich
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Celebrated artist and lead character designer of Brave, Ratatouille, and Despicable Me, Carter Goodrich, shows that sometimes, even the prickliest people—or the crankiest cacti—need a little love. Hank is the prickliest cactus in the entire world. He sits in a pot in a window that faces the empty desert, which is just how he likes it. So, when all manner of creatures—from tumbleweed to lizard to owl—come to disturb his peace, Hank is annoyed. He doesn’t like noise, he doesn’t like rowdiness, and definitely does not like hugs. But the thing is, no one is offering one. Who would want to hug a plant so mean? Hank is beginning to discover that being alone can be, well, lonely. So he comes up with a plan to get the one thing he thought he would never need: a hug from a friend.
#4
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When Grandma Gives You a Lemon Tree
Written by Jamie L. B. Deenihan & illustrated by Lorraine Rocha
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8
"When life gives you lemons, make lemonade." In this imaginative take on that popular saying, a child is surprised to receive a lemon tree from Grandma for her birthday. After all, she DID ask for a new gadget! But when she follows the narrator's careful--and funny--instructions, she discovers that the tree might be exactly what she wanted after all.
#5
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The Legend of the Poinsettia
Written & illustrated by Tomie dePaola
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
In Mexico, the poinsettia is called flor de la Nochebuenao flower of the Holy Night. At Christmastime, the flower blooms and flourishes, the quite exquisite red stars lighting up the countryside. This Mexican legend tells how the poinsettia came to be, through a little girl's unselfish gift to the Christ Child. Beloved Newbery honor-winning author and Caldecott honor-winning illustrator Tomie dePaola has embraced the legend using his own special feeling for Christmas. His glorious paintings capture not only the brilliant colors of Mexico and its art, but also the excitement of the children preparing for Christmas and the hope of Lucida, who comes to see what makes a gift truly beautiful.
#6
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The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm
If I could, I'd rate this book higher! This has been my favorite chapter book for the past year, and is the perfect book to ignite and strengthen a reader's imagination, all while going on an incredible, courageous journey.
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
The Whangdoodle was once the wisest, the kindest, and the most extraordinary creature in the world. Then he disappeared and created a wonderful land for himself and all the other remarkable animals -- the ten-legged Sidewinders, the little furry Flukes, the friendly Whiffle Bird, and the treacherous, "oily" Prock. It was an almost perfect place where the last of the really great Whangdoodles could rule his kingdom with "peace, love and a sense of fun"-- apart from and forgotten by people. But not completely forgotten. Professor Savant believed in the Whangdoodle. And when he told the three Potter children of his search for the spectacular creature, Lindy, Tom, and Ben were eager to reach Whangdoodleland. With the Professor's help, they discovered the secret way. But waiting for them was the scheming Prock, who would use almost any means to keep them away from his beloved king. Only by skill and determination were the four travelers able to discover the last of the really great Whangdoodles and grant him his heart's desire. Julie Andrews Edwards, star of stage and screen, has written a unique and beloved story that has become a modern classic. The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles is sure to continue to delight readers everywhere. This edition includes a new foreword by the author.
#7
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The Watermelon Seed
Written & illustrated by Greg Pizzoli
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
With perfect comic pacing, Greg Pizzoli introduces us to one funny crocodile who has one big fear: swallowing a watermelon seed. What will he do when his greatest fear is realized? Will vines sprout out his ears? Will his skin turn pink? This crocodile has a wild imagination that kids will love. With bold color and beautiful sense of design, Greg Pizzoli's picture book debut takes this familiar childhood worry and gives us a true gem in the vein of I Want My Hat Back and Not a Box.
#8
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Spring
Written & illustrated by David A. Carter
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
Just in time for spring, this is the second book in the Carter pop-up book series about the seasons. Each spread has a very brief verse and depicts common springtime flora and fauna. All things pictured are labeled (robins, water lilies, deer and fawns, cherry trees, etc.). The text is simple for very young readers to understand and enjoy.
#9
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How to Grow a Friend
Written & 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.
#10
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Tap the Magic Tree
Written & illustrated by Christie Matheson
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm
This interactive board books has you tap the tree, jiggle the book, and blow kisses to help the tree along in it's transformation through the seasons! I'm always up for a great interactive book, and this one is no exception. The illustrations are beautiful and simple to go along with the fun changes you help the tree go through.
board book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
The acclaimed interactive picture book about the changing seasons. “Like Hervé Tullet’s Press Here, Matheson’s Tap the Magic Tree proves you don’t need apps for interactivity,” praised the New York Times. Every book needs you to turn the pages. But not every book needs you to tap it, shake it, jiggle it, or even blow it a kiss
Table of Contents
Scroll to books about Plants and...

Books About Plants and Gardening

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The Secret Garden
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.
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
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.
Add to list
When Grandma Gives You a Lemon Tree
Written by Jamie L. B. Deenihan & illustrated by Lorraine Rocha
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8
"When life gives you lemons, make lemonade." In this imaginative take on that popular saying, a child is surprised to receive a lemon tree from Grandma for her birthday. After all, she DID ask for a new gadget! But when she follows the narrator's careful--and funny--instructions, she discovers that the tree might be exactly what she wanted after all.
Add to list
How to Grow a Friend
Written & 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.
Honorable Mentions
Miss Rumphius book
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Plant the Tiny Seed book
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Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt book
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The Night Gardener book
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  1. 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.

  2. Plant the Tiny Seed - 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!

  3. Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt - 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.

  4. 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.

Books About Plants and Animals

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Nobody Hugs A Cactus
Written & illustrated by Carter Goodrich
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Celebrated artist and lead character designer of Brave, Ratatouille, and Despicable Me, Carter Goodrich, shows that sometimes, even the prickliest people—or the crankiest cacti—need a little love. Hank is the prickliest cactus in the entire world. He sits in a pot in a window that faces the empty desert, which is just how he likes it. So, when all manner of creatures—from tumbleweed to lizard to owl—come to disturb his peace, Hank is annoyed. He doesn’t like noise, he doesn’t like rowdiness, and definitely does not like hugs. But the thing is, no one is offering one. Who would want to hug a plant so mean? Hank is beginning to discover that being alone can be, well, lonely. So he comes up with a plan to get the one thing he thought he would never need: a hug from a friend.
Add to list
Spring
Written & illustrated by David A. Carter
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
Just in time for spring, this is the second book in the Carter pop-up book series about the seasons. Each spread has a very brief verse and depicts common springtime flora and fauna. All things pictured are labeled (robins, water lilies, deer and fawns, cherry trees, etc.). The text is simple for very young readers to understand and enjoy.
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Rare and Blue: Finding Nature's Treasures
Written by Constance Van Hoven & illustrated by Alan Marks
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-10
**A variety of rare blue species--from the blue lobster to the blue black bear--are rare and unique for a reason.** Travel across Earth to discover eight species that are blue in color and are either naturally rare, threatened, or endangered. Panoramic illustrations and a playful main text prompt a search for the blue species at hand, while the page-turn and informative sidebars zoom in to reveal a closer look at the species. There's a lot to uncover about the Karner blue butterfly, blue black bear, blue whale, Quitobacquito pupfish, Cerulean warbler, blue lobster, Eastern Indigo snake, and big bluestem grass. A surprise ending celebrates that planet Earth is the rarest and bluest and must be protected for the sake of all.
Honorable Mentions
Caterpillar and Bean book
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Seeds Move! book
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Natural World book
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Flowers Are Calling book
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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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?

Books About Plants and Flowers

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The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm
If I could, I'd rate this book higher! This has been my favorite chapter book for the past year, and is the perfect book to ignite and strengthen a reader's imagination, all while going on an incredible, courageous journey.
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
The Whangdoodle was once the wisest, the kindest, and the most extraordinary creature in the world. Then he disappeared and created a wonderful land for himself and all the other remarkable animals -- the ten-legged Sidewinders, the little furry Flukes, the friendly Whiffle Bird, and the treacherous, "oily" Prock. It was an almost perfect place where the last of the really great Whangdoodles could rule his kingdom with "peace, love and a sense of fun"-- apart from and forgotten by people. But not completely forgotten. Professor Savant believed in the Whangdoodle. And when he told the three Potter children of his search for the spectacular creature, Lindy, Tom, and Ben were eager to reach Whangdoodleland. With the Professor's help, they discovered the secret way. But waiting for them was the scheming Prock, who would use almost any means to keep them away from his beloved king. Only by skill and determination were the four travelers able to discover the last of the really great Whangdoodles and grant him his heart's desire. Julie Andrews Edwards, star of stage and screen, has written a unique and beloved story that has become a modern classic. The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles is sure to continue to delight readers everywhere. This edition includes a new foreword by the author.
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One Whole Bunch
Written by Mary Meyer & illustrated by Sara Gillingham
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-4
In this new book illustrated by award-winning artist and designer Sara Gillingham, a boy gathers a bunch of flowers for a beautiful bouquet for his mother in this simple and sweet story that features a counting element: 10 to 1.
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Norton and Alpha
Written & illustrated by Kristyna Litten
Thoughts from Mom of Boys
This was such a clever book. I loved that Norton was so creative and mostly just a hard worker. He went out each day and gathered things and then made something out of them. When we found a flower, he was unsure of what its use could be. I love what he discovers and think it is a great thought for each of us to just enjoy what is beautiful.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-7
Battered wheels, rusty cogs, broken springs: Norton, an adorable robot, collects this junk and uses it to create amazing inventions. But one day he and his dog Alpha find something they ve never seen before: a flower! At first, they re baffled . . . but when a seed blossoms into a flowery field, the two discover the true magic of nature. Includes a big, stunning gatefold!"
Honorable Mentions
Secret Garden book
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Duck and Goose, 1, 2, 3 book
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Mrs. Peanuckle's Flower Alphabet book
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The Secret Garden book
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  1. Secret Garden - Mom of Boys -

    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.

  2. Duck and Goose, 1, 2, 3 - Mom of Boys -

    I love all of Tad Hills books. His illustrations are particularly enjoyable. Right now my one and a half year old carries this book around and says, "eight eyes." Because he can say it so clearly, when not a lot of his other words are understandable, we all know that he loves this book. It is very cute with a bright and sunshiny feel.

  3. 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.

  4. 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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Books About Plants and Trees

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Tap the Magic Tree
Written & illustrated by Christie Matheson
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm
This interactive board books has you tap the tree, jiggle the book, and blow kisses to help the tree along in it's transformation through the seasons! I'm always up for a great interactive book, and this one is no exception. The illustrations are beautiful and simple to go along with the fun changes you help the tree go through.
board book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
The acclaimed interactive picture book about the changing seasons. “Like Hervé Tullet’s Press Here, Matheson’s Tap the Magic Tree proves you don’t need apps for interactivity,” praised the New York Times. Every book needs you to turn the pages. But not every book needs you to tap it, shake it, jiggle it, or even blow it a kiss
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The Wish Tree
Written by Kyo Maclear & illustrated by Chris Turnham
Thoughts from Mr. Staccato
Charles and his Boggan set out to find a wish tree. Their journey is long and tiresome and they are slowed by the friends they stop to help on the way. When Charles falls asleep on his sled, he is aided the rest of the way by the animals of the forest. This book has a little magic to it that really comes alive in the later pages. The illustrations are beautiful and fun on the imagination. In some ways, it reminds me of The Polar Express. Different story, but similar feelings.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-4
Charles wants to find a wish tree. His brother and sister don't believe there is such a thing, but his trusty companion Boggan is ready to join Charles on a journey to find out. And along the way, they discover that wishes can come true in the most unexpected ways. The poetic text and heartwarming illustrations evoke the true essence of the holiday season and will inspire wishers everywhere. This gem of a book deserves center stage year round.
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Little Tree
Written & illustrated by Loren Long
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8
For graduates, for their parents, for anyone facing change, here is a gorgeously illustrated and stunningly heartfelt ode to the challenges of growing up and letting go. A story of the seasons and stepping stones as poignant for parents as for their kids, from the creator of Otis the tractor and illustrator of Love by Matt de la Pena. “Long’s gentle but powerful story about a young tree who holds tight to his leaves, even as everyone else lets theirs drop, takes on nothing less than the pain and sorrow of growing up. . . . As in Long’s unaccountably profound books about Otis the tractor, a pure white background somehow adds to the depth.”—The New York Times Book Review In the middle of a little forest, there lives a Little Tree who loves his life and the splendid leaves that keep him cool in the heat of long summer days. Life is perfect just the way it is. Autumn arrives, and with it the cool winds that ruffle Little Tree’s leaves. One by one the other trees drop their leaves, facing the cold of winter head on. But not Little Tree—he hugs his leaves as tightly as he can. Year after year Little Tree remains unchanged, despite words of encouragement from a squirrel, a fawn, and a fox, his leaves having long since turned brown and withered. As Little Tree sits in the shadow of the other trees, now grown sturdy and tall as though to touch the sun, he remembers when they were all the same size. And he knows he has an important decision to make.
Honorable Mentions
Stuck book
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Our Tree Named Steve book
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Mrs. Peanuckle's Tree Alphabet book
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A Tree is Nice book
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  1. Stuck - Grammy -

    The boy in this story may be a little single-minded when it comes to problem-solving, but wow, does he have a strong arm! There are plenty of opportunities to anticipate and predict what might happen next; just when you think he might use an object for its intended purpose and change the trajectory of the story, he lobs it into the tree. Kids find this absolutely hilarious! I love the simply-drawn illustrations and the creative variety of the boy's resources. It is a wonderful thing to be so engaged in the resolution of a problem that one is completely distracted from the problem itself.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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Books About Plants and Science And Nature

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The Little Green Girl
Written & illustrated by Lisa Anchin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
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.
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Florette
Written & illustrated by Anna Walker
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7
A 2018 New York Times and New York Public Library Best Illustrated Picture Book When Mae’s family moves to a new home, she wishes she could bring her garden with her. She’ll miss the apple trees, the daffodils, and chasing butterflies in the wavy grass. But there’s no room for a garden in the city. Or is there? Mae’s story, gorgeously illustrated in watercolor, is a celebration of friendship, resilience in the face of change, and the magic of the natural world.
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The Tree Lady
Written by H. Joseph Hopkins & illustrated by Jill McElmurry
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-10
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.
Honorable Mentions
The Hidden Rainbow book
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The Balcony book
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Little Acorn book
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Sadie's Snowy Tu B'Shevat book
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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

Books About Plants and Seeds

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The Watermelon Seed
Written & illustrated by Greg Pizzoli
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
With perfect comic pacing, Greg Pizzoli introduces us to one funny crocodile who has one big fear: swallowing a watermelon seed. What will he do when his greatest fear is realized? Will vines sprout out his ears? Will his skin turn pink? This crocodile has a wild imagination that kids will love. With bold color and beautiful sense of design, Greg Pizzoli's picture book debut takes this familiar childhood worry and gives us a true gem in the vein of I Want My Hat Back and Not a Box.
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Hundred Feet Tall
Written by Benjamin Scheuer & illustrated by Jemima Williams
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6
Guess How Much I Love You meets Someday in this gentle read-aloud picture book that shows us that with just the right amount of care and support, even the smallest of seeds can grow to stand one hundred feet tall. Thanks for the love that you’ve shown me Right now I’m so very small But with water and light I will keep gaining height And then one day I’ll stand at a hundred feet tall Hundred Feet Tall is a tender ode to the power of unconditional, immutable love. Because no matter how small you are now, with patience and persistence, with encouragement and devotion, you, too, will someday grow strong.
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Cherry Blossom and Paper Planes
Written by Jef Aerts & illustrated by Sanne Loo
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Adin and Dina are best friends. They live in the beautiful countryside surrounded by cherry trees. Their favorite game is to plant cherry pits around their little village - in the cracks in the sidewalk and in the flowerbeds outside the post office. Then one day Adin and his family move away to the city. Will Adin and Dina's friendship survive the new distance between them? In this beautifully lyrical book, one story fractures into two when the friends are parted. But their lives continue to be linked as Adin finds a way to feel connected to his friend - throwing paper planes filled with cherry pits from the balcony of his apartment building. Held together by their love of cherry blossom and paper planes, Adin and Dina's roads finally lead back to one another. _Cherry Blossom and Paper Planes_ is a touching story of true friendship, resilience, belief - and a little bit of magic - illuminated with stunning artwork full of seasonal detail, light and hope.
Honorable Mentions
The Bad Seed book
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Little Boo book
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Seeds book
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It Starts With a Seed book
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  1. 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.

  2. Little Boo - A pumpkin seed tries unsuccessfully to be scary until it grows into a pumpkin and Halloween arrives.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

Want to see 11 more books about plants and seeds ?

How about books about seeds?

Books About Plants and Botany

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Mrs. Peanuckle's Fruit Alphabet
Written by Mrs. Peanuckle & illustrated by Jessie Ford
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5
Mrs. Peanuckle’s Fruit Alphabet introduces babies and toddlers to the colorful foods that will help them grow up to be healthy and strong. Children and parents alike will want to devour the fun facts and charming illustrations of fruits from the familiar banana to the not as familiar yumberry. Mrs. Peanuckle’s Fruit Alphabet is the second in a series of board books celebrating the joy nature brings to young children at home and in the backyard, from fresh fruits and vegetables to birds, bugs, flowers, and trees.
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The Bluest of Blues
Written & illustrated by Fiona Robinson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9
A gorgeous picture book biography of botanist and photographer Anna Atkins--the first person to ever publish a book of photography After losing her mother very early in life, Anna Atkins (1799-1871) was raised by her loving father. He gave her a scientific education, which was highly unusual for women and girls in the early 19th century. Fascinated with the plant life around her, Anna became a botanist. She recorded all her findings in detailed illustrations and engravings, until the invention of cyanotype photography in 1842. Anna used this new technology in order to catalogue plant specimens--a true marriage of science and art. In 1843, Anna published the book Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions with handwritten text and cyanotype photographs. It is considered the first book of photographs ever published. Weaving together histories of women, science, and art, The Bluest of Blues will inspire young readers to embark on their own journeys of discovery and creativity.
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Ocean Renegades!
Written & illustrated by Abby Howard
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
"Determined to show Ronnie just how interesting prehistoric life was BEFORE the age of the dinosaurs, Miss Lernin takes her back in time to the six parts of the Paleozoic era to study the earliest lifeforms on Earth, starting with the rise of the vertebrates"--]cProvided by publisher.
Honorable Mentions
The Bug Girl book
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Stay Out of the Basement book
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  1. 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.

  2. 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?

Books About Plants and Flowers And Plants

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The Reason for a Flower
Written & illustrated by Ruth Heller
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8
Shows a variety of flowers, tells how they are pollinated and form seeds, and describes some of the useful products we get from flowering plants.
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Baby Botanist
Written by Dr. Laura Gehl & illustrated by Daniel Wiseman
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3
Baby Scientist is an adorable board book series that brings fun, accessible science concepts to baby’s world using simple language, recognizable settings, and vibrant art. Read them all with your baby scientist! Baby Botanist studies plants. In her lab coat, she looks at plants both large and small. She finds plants growing in many places.
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The Tiny Seed
Written & illustrated by Eric Carle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7
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.
Honorable Mentions
What Will Grow? book
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Plants Can't Sit Still book
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From seed to plant book
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Plants Feed Me book
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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  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.

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