23 Read Aloud Board Books about Gardening to Encourage Little Gardeners
23 Board Books to get your little one excited about gardening, chosen by a librarian
Books are a fantastic way to introduce babies and toddlers to gardening. Even before gardening season is here, books can introduce them to basic concepts like gardening tools, the place that bugs and worms have in the garden, the importance of rain, and the process of planting seeds and watching them grow.
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
You may also enjoy these lists of board books about:
Check out this list of 40 board books that are great for little hands.
1. Plant the Tiny Seed by Christie Matheson
“There’s magic in this seed. Press it down and count to three.” An interactive book that shows with each page how a planted seed changes and turns into a beautiful budding flower. By tapping the sun, shooing away the snail, and wiggling their fingers to water the seeds, children are made to feel like they are actively participating in making the seed grow.
2. Garden Time by Jill McDonald
An educational book with bright, beautiful illustrations. The nice thing about this book is there is simple text, but also smaller more in-depth text/information that can be read to older toddlers. So, while they’re young, you can point out the objects they’ll recognize like dogs, flowers, birds and bees, etc., and as they grow older you can read the more in-depth text. This book also shows how gardens can be grown in the city, such as on rooftops, community gardens, etc.
3. The Very Hungry Caterpillar’s Garden Picnic: A Scratch-and-Sniff Book by Eric Carle
Join the Very Hungry Caterpillar on a picnic while he munches on food straight from the garden! A special aspect of this book is it’s scratch-and-sniff! You can smell the banana, orange, watermelon, and other foods the caterpillar has at his picnic.
4. Honeybee by Kirsten Hall
Stunning, vibrant illustrations of fields of wildflowers introduce readers to the honeybee. From there, we learn all about honeybees and their part in helping the world thrive.
5. The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear by Don and Audrey Wood
This book has my heart. I grew up listening to my mom read it, and now it’s one of my daughter’s favorites. Beautiful, detailed, colored pencil illustrations show a little mouse trying to hide his fresh-picked strawberry from the big hungry bear. From the vantage point of the little mouse, everything looks huge—the strawberry, the stem of the strawberry plant, etc. If you’re growing strawberries in your garden this year, this book is a must!
6. Wildflowers Grow by Amber Hendricks
Watch dormant seeds underground wake up slowly burst into life as a beautiful field of wildflowers. With simple text and colorful illustrations, your little one will learn how seeds wake up underground in the Springtime and bloom to life over time.
7. Where’s the Ladybug? By Ingela P. Arrhenius
The perfect felt lift-the-flap books for the youngest of readers. This is a fun book to introduce little ones to critters they might find in the garden. Peek behind felt leaves, flowers, and rocks to find a bee, a snail, a caterpillar, etc. The last page has a mirror behind the flap, which babies just love peering into.
8. Usborne Sound Books: Garden Sounds
My daughter and I just love these Usborne Sound Books. Listen to different bird songs, bees buzzing, rain pouring, frogs croaking, and other sounds you’ll hear in the garden. Finger trails, cut-outs, beautiful illustrations, and of course sound will captivate your little one. A lovely read for parent and child alike.
9. Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois Ehlert
A classic gardening book for little ones! Lois Ehlert uses bright colors and simple illustrations to show the process of planting a garden, watching it grow, and then harvesting it. The harvested vegetables are all chopped up and cooked in a soup to show how rewarding a garden can be.
10. Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert
A gorgeous book to celebrate the colors and beauty of planting flowers. A child narrates the story, saying that each year child and mom plant a garden. They order seeds from a catalog, plant them in the ground, mark them, and watch them grow. Then, flowers from each color of the rainbow are highlighted, showing you can grow a whole rainbow of color in your flower garden.
11. Lift-the-flap First Questions and Answers: How Do Flowers Grow?
An educational, lift-the-flap book to teach your child about how plants grow. Peek behind sunflowers, leaves, flowers, and stems to learn about all sorts of things. Where do seeds come from? Who plants them? Why do leaves fall? This is great for older toddlers, but youngsters will love the pictures all the same.
12. Little Yellow Bee by Cottage Door Press
A small, rhyming, lift-the-flap book with sturdy, chunky board book pages perfect for little hands. The garden is full of colors to see! Peek behind leaves and flowers to find little critters of all the colors of the rainbow. Introduce your baby to various critters found in the garden like bees, snails, spiders, and more.
13. Planting Seeds of Kindness by Rose Bunting
Plant seeds of kindness with little mouse. Mouse’s “seeds of kindness” are random acts of kindness that brighten other’s day and grow like flowers. A cute story that relates planting seeds to doing something kind for someone else—which essentially gardening can be chalked up to.
14. Mrs. Peanuckle’s Vegetable Alphabet by Mrs. Peanuckle
Use colorful vegetables to help teach your little one the alphabet, and learn about each plant in the process. As you’re working with plants in your garden, you can point out the letter each starts with to carry on learning from book to hands-on.
15. Mrs. Peanuckle’s Flower Alphabet by Mrs. Peanuckle
This one uses the same concept as Mrs. Peanuckle’s Vegetable Alphabet, but with flowers! Read one or both of these to your little one, depending on what you’re growing in your own garden.
16. Backyard Bugs by Jill McDonald
Who lives in your backyard? Let’s go and explore! Learn about all the bugs you might find in your yard, which your little one is sure to encounter while helping in the garden.
17. The Very Hungry Caterpillar’s Garden Friends: A Touch-and-Feel Book by Eric Carle
I know I’m using a lot of Eric Carle books here, but they’re just too perfect! The simple, yet vibrant and gorgeous illustrations of recognizable objects make these a huge hit with little ones. This is a texture book about the various animals you might see in the garden. Learn about what sounds they made and how they feel.
18. Rain, Rain, Go Away by Russell Punter
A cute, rhyming adaptation of the classic rain song. This is fun because it can be sung to your little one. Adorable little forest critters scramble to take shelter from the rain. Wise owl teaches his forest friends that rain is good because it helps our gardens grow. Illustrations show a garden as Owl explains, “Up pop little shoots, sucking water through their roots.” A great book to teach the importance of rain in the garden.
29. Everything Grows by Raffi/Nina Mata
A book about how everything grows: grass, brothers, sisters, fingers, toes, hair, food on the farm, fish on the sea, etc. It’s a rhyming book meant to be sung to the tune of Raffi’s song Everything Grows. It’s not necessary to know the song, though—it’s a super cute book regardless.
20. Baby’s First Fingertrail Playbook Garden by Usborne
A great book to introduce gardening to the very youngest of readers. This is a fingertrail book, which means it’s meant for baby to feel and trace with their fingers the little cut-outs. Lift-the-flaps, cut-outs, and fingertrails, and subtle textures offer plenty of ways to keep baby engaged, all while looking at pretty garden images.
21. Rainbow Garden: A Slide-Lift-Learn Book
The perfect gardening book for your littlest of readers. A watering can-shaped book with slides, lift-a-flaps, and other elements to keep your baby engaged.
22. How Does a Seed Sprout? Life Cycles with the Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
A cute book about the lifecycle of an acorn turning into a tree. This one is especially for those who love planting trees—like myself.
23. The Little Gardener by Jan Gerardi
A cute rhyming lift-the-flap book to introduce little ones to gardening. Tots learn about gardening tools, sowing seeds, flowers blooming, weeding, harvesting and more. Simple text, rhymes, and fun illustrations will hold baby’s attention.
Subscribe below for more book lists like this!