Picture Book Highlights | Gardening

By Monica C. RSS Tue, March 29, 2022

Happy spring, Philadelphia!

It’s time to go out and work on our gardens – in our yards, balconies, or community gardens! Let’s all get our hands dirty with soil and bring beauty and sustenance into the world and all around us. Here are some books for inspiration:

Miguel’s community garden by Janay Brown-Wood; illustrated by Samara Hardy

Miguel is throwing a party at his community garden for all of his friends, and he needs help searching for sunflowers to complete the celebration. What do we know about sunflowers? They’re tall with petals and leaves—and, hold on, is that a sunflower? No, that’s an artichoke. Where, oh, where could those sunflowers be? Can you help Miguel find them in time for his party?

Ebook available from Overdrive

The balcony by Melissa Castrillón

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.

How to say hello to a worm: a very first guide to outside by Kari Percival

The beautiful simplicity of a garden is presented as a series of sweet questions and gentle replies. Less of a traditional how-to and more of a how-to-appreciate, this soothingly sparse text paints an inviting and accessible picture of what a garden offers. And with an all-child cast, the absence of an adult presence empowers readers to view the garden and its creatures through their own eyes, driven by curiosity and wonder.

Ebook available from Overdrive

Garden day by Candice F. Ransom; illustrated by Erika Meza

It’s springtime, and the perfect day to plant a garden! The brother and sister from Pumpkin Day!, Apple Picking Day!, Snow Day! and Beach Day! return and plant peas in their backyard. Read along as they dig holes, water the plants, and build a scarecrow with their parents!

Ebook available from Overdrive

Jayden’s impossible garden by Mélina Mangal; illustrated by Ken Dailey

Amidst all the buildings, people, and traffic in his neighborhood, Jayden sees nature everywhere: the squirrels scrounging, the cardinals calling, and the dandelions growing. But Mama doesn’t believe there’s nature in the city. So Jayden sets out to help Mama see what he sees. With the help of his friend Mr. Curtis, Jayden plants the seeds of a community garden and brings together his neighbors—and Mama—to show them the magic of nature in the middle of the city.

Goodnight, veggies by Diana Murray; illustrated by Zachariah OHora

Every veggie needs their shut-eye in this bedtime book that celebrates community, the joys of a small garden, and the importance of taking care of ourselves.

Ebook available from Overdrive

The garden by Gwendolyn Hooks; illustrated by Shirley Ng-Benitez

When Lily invites her friends to volunteer at the community garden, they learn how to dig, plant seeds, and patiently wait for their plants to grow. Includes instructions for growing snap peas at home.

Ebook available from Overdrive

Lola plants a garden by Anna McQuinn; illustrated by Rosalind Beardshaw

How does your garden grow? Book-loving Lola is inspired by a collection of garden poems that she reads with her mommy. She wants to plant her own garden of beautiful flowers, so she and Mommy go to the library to check out books about gardening. They choose their flowers and buy their seeds. They dig and plant. And then they wait. Lola finds it hard to wait for her flowers to grow, but she spends the time creating her own flower book. Soon she has a garden full of sunflowers and invites all of her friends for cakes and punch and a story amongst the flowers.

Michelle’s garden: how the first lady planted seeds of change by Sharee Miller

Former First Lady Michelle Obama had an idea. A big, inspiring, and exciting idea! She would grow the largest kitchen garden ever at the White House. This wouldn't be easy, since she'd never gardened before: Where should she start? What tools did she need? What would she plant? Everyone needs help when they're learning something for the first time, even the first lady of the United States. So she gathered the help of local students, the White House staff, and even President Barack Obama. Together, they wouldn't just grow a garden—they would inspire a nation!

Green green: a community gardening story by Marie Lamba; illustrated by Sonia Sánchez

Green grass is wide and fresh and clean for a family to play in, and brown dirt is perfect for digging a garden. But when gray buildings start to rise up and a whole city builds, can there be any room for green space? The neighborhood children think so, and they inspire the community to join together and build a garden for everyone to share in the middle of the city.

Ebook available from Overdrive

Harlem grown: how one big idea transformed a neighborhood by Tony Hillery; illustrated by Jessie Hartland

After seeing how restless they were and their lack of healthy food options, Tony Hillery invited students from an underfunded school to turn a vacant lot into a beautiful and functional farm. By getting their hands dirty, these kids turned an abandoned space into something beautiful and useful while learning about healthy, sustainable eating and collaboration. Five years later, the kids and their parents, with the support of the Harlem Grown staff, grow thousands of pounds of fruits and vegetables a year. All of it is given to the kids and their families.

Ebook available from Overdrive


Be sure to check our catalog and Overdrive Kids eReading Room for these titles and many more being added.


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