Plants & Trees
Click each book cover to view on Amazon.
The Owl Tree Jenny Nimmo Winner of the Smarties Book Prize, this uplifting short novel tells the story of Joe, who becomes interested in a magnificent tree overhanging into his granny's garden. Compelled by the mystery sighting of an owl, Joe is sure that the tree holds mysteries within its branches and knows that he must act fast when he hears that granny's neighbour is planning to cut it down. Buy on Amazon Bloom Nicola Skinner & Flavia Sorrentino This is a stand-out story full of humour and heart, about a packet of 'surprising seeds' that leads to an epidemic causing people to grow flowers out of their heads. Sorrel Fallowfield is a rule follower. Never wishing to cause trouble for her overworked Mum or to break the strict rules of a perfection-demanding headteacher, Sorrel knows that she is in with a good chance of winning when school announces a competition to find the most perfectly-behaved student. Sorrel’s luck changes when a mysterious packet of seeds appears in her garden with surprising effects. Before she knows, the power of the seeds has taken root not just in Sorrel’s life but also in her whole community. Could nature be fighting back against a town that has eradicated all of its green spaces? Also features on: 50 Recommended Books for Year 5 Reading for Pleasure Blog Buy on Amazon 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! Buy on Amazon Under the Canopy Iris Volant & Cynthia Alonso A beautifully presented hardback book that tells stories about lots of different trees -from the legend of the Major Oak in Sherwood Forest, to the olive trees of Greece and the blossom in Japan – as well as giving factual information about seasonality, average height and where in the world they grow. A fascinating read for all ages, with brilliant and vibrant illustrations throughout. While it doesn’t offer a call for greater care of the environment directly, it shows the importance of trees historically and culturally, and would encourage discussion around their importance with future generations. Recommended by Stephen Connor (@StephenConnor7), Year 6 teacher and book blogger Also features on: Environmental Sustainability Buy on Amazon Jim and the Beanstalk Raymond Briggs A retelling of the traditional Jack and the Beanstalk story by the well-loved children's author and illustrator Raymond Briggs (author of 'The Snowman' and 'Ug: Boy Genius of the Stone Age'). In this version, the giant has become weary with old age. When a young boy called Jim discovers a beanstalk, he climbs up it and tries to help the giant by providing him with glasses, false teeth and a wig. But will Jim survive when the giant regains his appetite? Buy on Amazon Wangari's Trees of Peace: A True Story from Africa Jeanette Winter 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. Recommended by: Hilary Nicholl, KS2 Teaching Assistant Also features on: Environmental Sustainability Buy on Amazon Toby Alone Timothee de Fombelle This is an award-winning children's novel with a positive message about looking after the natural world. Toby is miniature at just 1.5mm tall and he lives in the Great Oak Tree. Toby and his family find themselves cast out of the Oak Tree society when Toby’s father attempts to protect the energy source at the heart of the tree from powerful people who wish to use up natural resources for their own gains, even if doing so will eventually destroy their environment. You may also like the sequel, Toby and the Secrets of the Tree (available here). Buy on Amazon Botanicum (Welcome To The Museum) Kathy Willis & Katie Scott This impressive hardback is the closest thing you can get to a museum in book form. Exhibited in the pages are all sorts of plants from different habitats around the globe, displayed with beautiful botanical illustrations and informative text explaining the science behind how each plant looks and behaves. This is a beautiful non-fiction text to treasure and to amaze readers with the incredible diversity of the plant world. There is also an accompanying activity book (available here) and poster book (available here). Buy on Amazon Tree of Life: The Incredible Biodiversity of Life on Earth Rochelle Strauss & Margot Thompson This is a very detailed non-fiction book for children that explores the science behind how living things depend on each other. Find out how plants and trees fit into the big picture of biodiversity on our planet. Packed with facts and lots of scientific vocabulary, this text is most suitable for upper KS2. Buy on Amazon The Great Kapok Tree Lynne Cherry This is a colourful and engaging picture book that captures the spirit of the rainforest through its beautifully detailed illustrations. It has a simple story line that is accessible to less confident readers but a strong message about deforestation and enough depth to captivate older readers too. Check out the accompanying unit of work from KS2History. Buy on Amazon The Boy Who Grew Dragons Andy Shepherd & Sara Ogilvie The first in a series of three stories from debut author Andy Shepherd, this hugely entertaining adventure about a small boy and his pet dragon would make a super read-aloud for years 2, 3 or 4. Tomas is busy in the garden with Grandad, planning which fruits to grow that might be turned into delicious jams or tarts. When Tomas stumbles across a strange tree with curious-looking fruit, he never expects that what might emerge from the fruit is a real live dragon! This is an adventure that is humorous at every turn, but also full of heart. Tomas is a great positive role model for showing how young people can apply curiosity and creativity to the process of growing and nurturing plants and see ‘magic’ in the course. Also features on: 50 Recommended Books for Year 3 Reading for Pleasure Blog Buy on Amazon I Love This Tree: Discover the life, beauty and importance of trees Anna Claybourne An informative information text all about trees. Starting with a simple chestnut tree, this books explores the features of trees, including their life cycles, habitats and anatomy. A highly recommended companion for primary pupils learning about trees. Buy on Amazon Do Plants Really Eat Insects? Thomas Canavan Part of the Science FAQs series, this book explores questions and answers all about plants. With questions designed to gain the interest of children (such as 'Do Plants Poo?') and lots of colourful close up photographs, this is a wonderfully appealing non-fiction text to unpick some of the science of plants in an accessible way. Buy on Amazon James and the Giant Peach Roald Dahl When a peach at the end of the garden grows and grows, James finds himself inside it along with an odd assortment of insect friends ready to take him on a magical adventure. A fast-paced humorous story from the popular children's author Roald Dahl. Buy on Amazon A First Book of Nature Nicola Davies & Mark Hearld This book has a dreamteam of components: Nicola Davies, Mark Hearld, poetry and nature. Together they create something that belongs in multiple genres. It’s a poetry book, an art book - Hearld’s woodblock prints are one with the words - and an information book. The book guides you through the seasons, and the poems about British wildlife, weather and trees depict how special each one is, while gently informing. In my opinion, an essential addition to any library or classroom, and a fine multi-topic book for any age group. (Recommended by Roy James (@royjamesmoss), Librarian & Reader with KS2). Also features on: favourite non-fiction texts Buy on Amazon Tom's Midnight Garden Philippa Pearce Winner of the prestigious Carnegie Medal, this time-slip story is a classic of children's literature. It follows the story of Tom, who yearns for a garden while he is staying with his aunt in a small and boring flat. When the clock strikes thirteen, he discovers a magical and beautiful garden full of wonders and enchanting children. Also features on: 50 Recommended Books for Year 6