Booklist: Children's Books about Plants, Seeds and Gardening
Growing Plants (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 wild flowers 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...
Donna Jo Napoli & Kadir Nelson
A picturebook telling the true story of Wangari Maathai, who who encouraged Kenyan women to plant trees to improve their lives and their environment. In time, the women used the branches from their trees to fence their animals, the leaves to ripen their bananas and the fruit to feed their families. As the planting movement spread, slowly the deforested Kenyan landscape became green with trees again.
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 the power of planting trees as well as their own ability to positively impact the future.
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.
Roots, Stems, Laves and Flowers
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.
Vivian French & Alison Bartlett
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.
The Gigantic Turnip
Aleksei Tolstoy & Niamh Sharkey
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 inventing their own versions.
A Little Guide to Wild Flowers
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.
Anne Booth & Robyn Owen Wilson
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.
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. A story for anyone who has ever felt small.
Lifecycles: Seed to Sunflower
Camilla De la Bedoyere
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.
Secret Sky Garden
Linda Sarah & Fiona Lumbers
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.
It Starts With a Seed
Laura Knowles & Jennie Webber
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.
Look and Wonder: The Amazing Plant Life Cycle Story
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.
The Extraordinary Gardener
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!
Sunflower Shoots and Muddy Boots: A Child's Guide to Gardening
Katherine Halligan & Grace Easton
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.
A Seed is Sleepy
Dianna Aston & Sylvia Long
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!
The Big Book of Blooms
This beautiful and factual picture book about Wangari Maathai is inspiring and full of hope. The devastating impact of deforestation is made starkly clear but it is counterbalanced by the actions taken by first Wangari Maathai and then more and more women until millions of trees had been planted and healing began.
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Katie and the Sunflowers
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!