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Growing Plants Topic

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Growing Plants Topic Booklist (EYFS & KS1)

There is nothing quite so magical as the process of watching a plant grow – from seeds and shoots to leaves and flowers. Learning about growing plants is part of the Science curriculum in primary schools, with children learning to name local wildflowers and trees, exploring the functions of different parts of a plant and investigating what plants need to grow and thrive. We’ve put together a list of recommended books to support the topic of growing plants at KS1, covering everything from seed dispersal and life cycles to edible plant parts and activities for green-fingered budding gardeners…

NB: This selection of books about plants is aimed at children aged 4-7. If you are looking for books for older children, try our KS2 Plants and Trees list.

Picturebooks about growing plants, vegetables, trees and flowers

Anne Booth
 & Robyn Owen Wilson
Picturebook
There was once a beautiful flower and a little girl who loved it. She talked to it every morning on her way to school. The owner of the flower shouted at her. The next day, the flower did not open. The angry man didn't understand. He tried watering it. He tried giving it shade and he tried talking to it. He told it how wonderful he was, how important his job was and how lonely he felt. But it still refused to open. So, he asked the little girl. "Why don't you tell it how wonderful it is and how much you love it?" she said. As he did so, his own heart filled with love. And the flower bloomed.
Vivian French
 & Alison Bartlett
Picturebook
This popular picture book tells the story of fussy eater Oliver, who will not eat anything but chips. One day Grandpa sets him a challenge that helps him to learn to try new foods from the vegetable patch and Oliver is surprised by what he finds out.
Pat Hutchins
Picturebook
It's not easy being the smallest in the family, like Titch. But Titch soon discovers that even something as tiny as a little seed has the potential to grow into a plant that is very big indeed. Titch is a story for anyone who knows what it is like to feel small.
Aleksei Tolstoy
 & Niamh Sharkey
Picturebook
This hilarious retelling of the classic Russian tale about a farmer whose turnip is impossible to pull from the ground uses simple vocabulary and is ideal for reading aloud. Its cumulative theme will soon have young readers gleefully joining in, and Irish artist Niamh Sharkey's wonderfully quirky illustrations will delight and fascinate all ages.
Donna Jo Napoli
 & Kadir Nelson
Picturebook
Through artful prose and beautiful illustrations, this picturebook tells the true story of Wangari Muta Maathai, known as "Mama Miti," who in 1977 founded the Green Belt Movement - an African grassroots organization that has empowered many people to mobilize and combat deforestation, soil erosion, and environmental degradation. Today, more than 30 million trees have been planted throughout Mama Miti's native Kenya, and in 2004 she became the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize. Wangari Muta Maathai has changed Kenya tree by tree-and with each page turned, children will realize their own ability to positively impact the future.

James Mayhew
Picturebook
Katie likes helping Grandad in the garden and she really wants to grow her own sunflowers. When she looks at Van Gogh's famous painting of sunflowers, Katie reaches in to grab some seeds, not realising how it might have a knock-on effect on lots of different paintings in the gallery!
Ken Wilson-Max
Picturebook

Inspired by his father’s passion for trees, Ken Wilson-Max’s picturebook is a delightful introduction to conservation and care for the natural environment.

Eve is lively and thoughtful, living at the edge of a big, old forest. She loves everything about it, the trees most of all, especially the Baobab, the African “tree of life”. On her birthday, Eve and her parents visit Grandma, deep in the forest, where she gets a magical surprise. Unwrapping the bark from around a parcel that Grandma has carried to a special place, she finds a Baobab seedling to plant and take care of. Following family tradition, it will grow next to the trees that her father, grandma and great-grandma nurtured, connecting her forever with the forest she loves.

The bold, rich colours used to illustrate the book joyfully conjure the heat, the vibrant flowers and the many shades of green to be found in the forest.

This is perfect to share with Early Years and Key Stage 1 classes to help young children understand that everyone can play their part in preserving the natural world. Facts about trees are included are at the end, providing a good starting point for finding out more.

Children's books about planting gardens

Sam Broughton
Picturebook
Joe is a boy just like any other, but Joe loves to imagine. Joe lives in a pretty ordinary tower block, in a rather ordinary city. His world is rather grey. However, he spends his time imagining a wonderful world filled with exotic plants and unusual animals. Once day Joe decides to plant a seed on his balcony, he waits and waits but nothing happens! Joe gives up and goes back to his daily life, but one day when he least expects it he spots that the seed has turned into the most beautiful tree. Joe begins caring for the tree and growing lots of other plants on his balcony and soon everyone in the neighbourhood is getting involved. A charming story about the important of nature, teaching us that if we work hard enough our dreams really can come true!
Linda Sarah
 & Fiona Lumbers
Picturebook
A startlingly original picture book about a little girl who creates a garden on a disused car park rooftop Funni loves the old, disused car park , and spends a lot of time there flying her kite and playing her recorder. But something is missing. Definitely. So Funni decides to create a garden in the neglected space and after weeks of careful nurture, her garden in the sky takes shape. One day, a little boy, Zoo, spots the square of colour amongst the grey from an incoming flight, and decides to try to find it. And slowly, not only do Funni's flowers bloom, but a very special friendship blossoms too.
Christina Dendy & Katie Rewse
Picturebook

A wonderful picturebook about the desire for control and tidiness, and the wonders that can occur when we accept a little mess and freedom into our lives.

Ana builds a beautiful garden on the edge of her town but is determined to keep the disorderly wild out, so she builds a boundary wall to separate the two. She wants her garden to be perfect, full of only the sweetest-smelling flowers, leafiest trees and tastiest fruit and vegetables. Any seeds that are not absolutely perfect get thrown away into the wild. The plants begins to wilt and both people and animals stop bothering to visit. Until eventually, Ana sees some sunlight beaming from over her wall and decides to climb and see what is on the other side. As soon as she sees the beauty and unrestrained nature of the Wild, helped along by all her imperfect seeds, she decides that maybe it is time to start removing some bricks from her wall.

 

Children's books about seeds and plant life cycles

Ruth Brown
Picturebook
A simple story to introduce the idea of seed dispersal and life cycles. It tells the story of ten seeds, only one of which survives to grow into a lovely sunflower and produces new seeds to start the cycle again. The illustrations are full of detail and the text is an accessible introduction to seed science for young children.
Camilla De la Bedoyere
Non-fiction
How do sunflowers begin? What do sunflowers need to grow? When do the flowers open? Discover the amazing stages of different life cycles and learn how different species are born, grow up and reproduce with this stunning series. Packed with amazing photographs of every stage, labelled diagrams to explain growth and development, fascinating facts and discussion points for further learning.
Kay Barnham
Picturebook
Dig deep and explore the incredible plant life cycle story. From tiny seeds to small shoots, long branches and mighty tree trunks, explore the life cycle of plants and find out what plants need to help them grow. Follow the journey of a young boy and girl as they find out about how plants grow. This beautifully illustrated picture book explains why insects are important to plants, how seeds travel and why plants are important to us all.
Dianna Aston
 & Sylvia Long
Non-fiction
This beautifully illustrated non-fiction text showcases how amazing seeds are. Each page shows how different types of seeds are perfectly adapted to survive, spread and grow into amazing plants. The text is poetic and the botanical illustrations are beautiful and detailed. If it never occurred to you to appreciate how amazing seeds can be, it will after reading this!
Laura Knowles
 & Jennie Webber
Non-fiction

Follow the journey of a tiny sycamore seed as it becomes a sapling and then grows over time to become an enormous tree that houses all sorts of life. This is a gentle and lyrical text with beautiful illustrations.


Non-fiction books about growing plants

Ruth Owen
Non-fiction
This non-fiction book introduces the parts of a plant for KS1 readers. Learn all about common wild and garden plants, including flowering plants, vegetables and trees. Investigate the basic structure of plants (including roots, stems, trunks, branches, leaves, flowers, petals and fruit). This series covers theNational Curriculum programme of study for science at Key Stage 1.
Charlotte Voake
Non-fiction
Learn how to identify different wild flowers and find out more about what is growing in your local area. The informative guide is accompanied by watercolour illustrations and is a good choice of book if you want to get out and about to do some plant-spotting.
Katherine Halligan
 & Grace Easton
Non-fiction
Packed with brilliant activities and green-fingered ideas, top tips and fascinating facts, from growing berries and flowers in old hats and welly boots, to making miniature indoor magic gardens or even growing your own secret den. The perfect first introduction to the absolute delight of growing plants. Related activity sheets available on the Nosy Crow website.
Yuval Zommer
Non-fiction Picturebook
What does a venus fly trap eat? How strong is a giant water lily? Does a cactus flower? The newest addition to Yuval Zommer's bestselling series answers these questions and more as it introduces young children to all kinds of colourful, carnivorous, weird and wonderful flowering plants from around the world. It opens with introductory spreads on how to be a botanist; how to recognise different types of flowers; the life-cycle of a plant; flower anatomy; and the seven types of animal pollinators including bats, birds and beetles. Subsequent spreads, illustrated within various habitats, are dedicated to specific varieties of plants, including the carnivorous venus flytrap, the giant water lily and the weird and wonderful corpse flower. Readers will enjoy learning about different edible flowers and why flowers are fragrant or colourful, not to mention grisly details about carnivorous and poisonous flowers.

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