Welcome to my latest blog post. This piece is a celebration of books that would be ideal for young budding gardeners as well books with themes of the outdoors.
Nature’s Tiny Miracle Bee illustrated by Britta Teckentrup.
Such a bee-utiful book. This book was first published in 2016 and is now available as a board book.
This book just makes me so happy and is utterly gorgeous with its joyous illustrations, swipe across to see.
Readers follow a bee as it buzzes and dances from flower to flower on an important journey. The rhythmic text that readers are presented with flows brilliantly sharing sprinkles of factual information, such as the sun providing navigation for bees.
Now as a board book format even the youngest of readers can appreciate the rather pretty spreads and understand the importance of bees. The hexagonal die cut on the front cover of the book continues cleverly spread to spread and makes the whole book an even more spectacular feast for the eyes. Absolutely wonderful.
Number 7 Evergreen street
A lovely uplifting story that celebrates community and one my girls and I have really enjoyed.
Penelope Petersham, also know as Pea, lives amongst a wonderful community of neighbours who are supportive, interesting and colourful. The residents are a stark contrast to their surroundings which are all grey but grey as it may be Pea’s home has caught the eye of developers.
Pea has a plan and with her neighbours on board they work hard together in the hope that the developers will change their mind. There is much worry that surrounds them and their plan isn’t a quick fix. It takes weeks and many green fingers but it blooms in to a wonderful surprise.
Complete with joyful, collaged, inclusive illustrations this book is a hug of a book in these unprecedented times.
In the Garden by Emma Giuliani
When I first started teaching I loved seeing the classic picture books in a larger book format and this book reminds me of that joy. Measuring at 16 inches tall this book will stand out on many a bookshelf and is one that many readers will enjoy poring over.
Plum and her brother Robin are budding gardeners showing readers how their garden transforms season to season. As well as sharing lots of information and tips, the book is interactive through its use of flaps and hidden treasures. Readers can discover peas inside a pea pod, take a closer look at what’s inside a bud, see what tools are kept inside the siblings shed and more.
The book discusses each season well, sharing how you can identify that season and then immerses readers into a world of nature happiness.
If you swipe across you can see more of the inside of the book. Isn’t it brilliant!? This book would be a great resource for a learning setting presenting lots of information in a fun and interactive way.
The keeper of wild words by Brooke Smith and illustrated by Madeline Kloepper.
I love a book which shares a precious bond between a child and a grandparent. As well as sharing this bond with readers, the book immerses you into a wonderful celebration of nature.
With so many words being replaced in the dictionary with more technology related ones, the author was keen to share how we can keep nature words alive by sharing them with each other. The background of the book is reminiscent of how the book Lost Words came to be.
The grandma in the book acknowledges that if particular words are not used, they are forgotten about so she takes her granddaughter on a nature walk. Grandma spots pockets of nature happiness along their walk and gives readers an opportunity to learn and spot them too.
Brooke, the granddaughter discovers more about her name and their walk proves to be a brilliant help to Brooke for her school project.
A lovely book which cleverly incorporates lots of learning and perhaps will expand upon some readers knowledge of nature words. The sweet illustrations are gentle and engaging with gorgeous ourdoor spreads. The book also has a lovely surprise underneath it’s book sleeve.
The Little Fir Tree by Christopher Corr
Based on Hans Christian Andersen’s classic story, this tale is a cautionary one about living in the moment. Ending slightly different to the original, readers will meet a fir tree that is longing for an adventure. His dreams come true when someone chooses the tree to be decorated in their grand home. However, with the festive season only being for a short while, the once decorated tree has fulfilled its families needs and is taken away to be stored in the shed. What will come of it now?
What follows is a little magical, touching on a little upcycling where the children from the family give the tree a new lease of life.
Complete with Christoper Corr’s signature style of colourful, folk style like illustrations this is a book that highlights enjoying the moment as you make memories to come.
There are some picture books that are utterly beautiful and this is certainly one of them. Based around a young, diverse girl named Miyuki, whom you may have already met in the book Time For Bed Miyuki, parts of her character may not be too dissimilar to a young person you know also.
Miyuki is a lively, inquisitive character who is rather excited at the prospect of a little flower blooming. Spring has arrived and Miyuki is expecting the flower to bloom instantly but what she learns through the journey of the story is patience. Her grandfather is a wise man and has a wonderful way of making her realise that nature is magical but it will do things when it is ready to, not always when we expect it too.
Amongst the most enchanting illustrations you have whimsical, imaginative sprinkles of fun which are almost fairytale like. The book brilliantly captures East Asian art and culture and oh the double spreads are just scrumptious. Swipe across to see.
Miyuki is a relatable character and the book may well be one to encourage readers to embrace and enjoy the the natural world more.
The Garden of Hope by Isabel Otter and illustrated by Katie Rewse
This book is such a moving read simply told for young readers and I think there should be a copy (or two) in every library.
The story is based around a young girl called Maya and her dad. Readers learn that Maya’s mother is no longer around however, the circumstances surrounding this aren’t discussed leaving room for interpretation.
Maya has moments of sadness due to her mum not being at home and can feel anxious at times but with the support of her dad things gradually change. Maya’s dad makes time to listen and in a heartfelt discussion shares with Maya that when her mum had similar, unhappy feelings to Maya she would do some gardening and plant some seeds.
Maya does exactly that and her once neglected garden, well it becomes a place of beauty. Gardening provides a way for Maya to be distracted but also it’s a place of hope. Her emotions gradually transform, just as the garden does, but just like the seeds requiring various elements to flourish, Maya needs time, love and the garden gives her great moments of mindfulness.
The book is such a beautiful read with diverse gentle illustrations and the art work of the garden blooming are so so lovely.
It can be so difficult to explore the themes included in this book with young children but just as it did with my girls, it may certainly encourage lots of discussion around what can be tricky topics.
The Hike by Alison Farrell
This read so beautifully captures the great outdoors alongside realistic friendships.
Three diverse friends Wren, El and Hattie are off on a hike. Along the way the friends get tempted by thimbleberries, share leaf craft fun, observe the wonderful scenes around them, get a little lost and more.
The dialogue exchanged between the characters is shared in speech bubbles allowing readers to really get to know the characters and each double page spread is superbly illustrated.
I love how on each share of this book you spot something new with different labels to spot and the various details in the illustrations.
Wren’s sketchbook is an added bonus to this book and cleverly weaves more information about the hike for readers to appreciate and perhaps even inspire to complete a hike themselves.
This is such a treat for a book with so much to admire and I’m sure will make many readers immerse in this rather fun hike.
The Last Tree
This thought provoking read is illustrated wonderfully using limited colours that works so effectively.
The book explores the relationship between the natural world and how our taking advantage of it can change many connections including with other people.
Adults in the story are on search for a suitable place to live and they find a particular forest the best place to be. Seasons past and everyone in their new community is happy in their environment but soon things begin to change. Trees are needed for various reasons. It starts with a few branches for fire wood but gradually more and more is cut down causing more problems.
These problems lead the community to think that a wall would be a good idea, but for this more trees are required for the making of it. It eventually leaves the “last tree” but as a result of all the change the community isn’t how it used to be.
Parents attempt to get their children to cut down the last tree standing, all the while staying in their homes, but the children leaving their homes relish being amongst other children. The wall has caused the community to become so introverted and the children are longing for friendship and fun.
Eventually its the children that make the adults see how foolish and greedy they have become. They see the errors of their way and with it they bring change. The community becomes a happier place to be and the “last tree” that was standing now becomes the first of a flourishing forest.
This is a wonderful tale and would be a fantastic read to use in a learning setting.
From Tiny Seeds
This book is a visual delight focussing on how various plants travel, originally published in French.
Ten different methods are explored in the book including the flying method, the way in which dandelions seeds spread as they are blown around. Another method, which is sure to intrigue many a reader, is the Being Eaten method. The way in which birds eat berries such as elderberries, how part of that berry passes through their digestive system and how the droppings, including the excreted elderberry seed, from the bird, grow into something new.
The book is brilliantly informative with clean art work and a light background making the use of bold colours all that more striking.
This would be a fantastic resource for home and a learning setting and it would make such a gorgeous gift for young and older nature enthusiasts.
Can you find 12 busy bees?
This delicately illustrated read is a celebration of wildlife and number. Immersed in the elegant art work are little counting challenges to encourage young readers to practise their mathematical and observational skills.
We’ve found this a great book to use outdoors, encouraging my toddler to try and find different creatures but we struggled to find a lizard in our NE garden.
A very pretty book that would make a great read for an exploration table in a learning setting as well as a great one for an art and maths area.
When Grandma Gives you a Lemon Tree
A young girl is due to celebrate her birthday and like many children she has in mind exactly what she would like to be gifted. Many of the items included in the list are technological but what she receives from grandma is …a lemon tree. The witty text and captivating, diverse illustrations share how one should be in such a scenario, definitely not to cry but to perhaps say something along the lines of “It’s what I always wanted.”
Well what was said may not have initially been heartfelt but this lemon tree teaches the girl a great many things. After many months pass her tree grows an abundance of lemons and as a result she becomes a young entrepreneur. The book leads you to believe that the young girl would buy items that she once listed on her birthday wish list but instead what she buys is a lot more special.
This is such a lovely read representing the wise, gentle wisdom of a grandparent and witnessing a young girl growing in character. The bond the two of them have is so lovely to see and truthfully does make me miss my grandma. Making memories together is so special.
Usborne Minis Flowers to spot.
This ickle book is bursting with information and is a great pick to accompany young and older readers outdoors. I’ve learnt so much from this book. Flowers truly have great names, Common dog violet, Frogbit or can you see a Bloody Cranesbill?
The book includes 60 flowers to spot with an illustration and a detailed description alongside it. Organised in chapters of where you might locate these flowers, Coast and Seashore, Woods, Towns and roadsides and more makes it an accessible easy read complete with an index too.
Also, at the back of the book there is chart and stickers for you to keep a track of any flowers you’ve spotted.
There are other books in the series which I highly recommend also. And for a few pounds each these are brilliant pocket money picks.
See more over on a blog post previously completed, Usborne Minis
Plant, Sow, Make and Grow by Esther Coombs.
This fantastic non-fiction read is a great one for budding gardeners. The book is divided into seasons of the year with activities that could be completed during those months. Ideas include making your own hanging bottle tomato container, creating a bug house, planting potatoes, pressing flowers and exploring what compost is all about. There is such a brilliant range of activities to choose from complete with step by step instructions and hints and tips along the way. I love how the book encourages you to recycle things like toilet rolls and bottles and to incorporate these into some gardening fun. The book is a wonderful, approachable introduction to gardening and the activities could be great to complete as a family and as a class in a learning setting.
Bee and Me by Alison Jay.
This beautifully presented book is based on a young girl who befriends a bee after it flys into her home. The gentle oil painted illustrations show the girl scared of the bee, which she is about to harm, but soon realises this isn’t right and begins to take care of it. The heartwarming friendship you see is adorable.
The book invites many retellings as it is completely wordless. It highlights the importance of having flowers and how we need them for bees.
The girl in the story has no garden but makes her own using a flower box on her window sill.
This is such a gorgeous book. Put time aside for this read as it is bound to encourage lots of careful observations and questions. A real delight
There’s a tiger in the garden by Lizzy Stewart.
There’s a Tiger in the Garden is a wonderful book. I know many of you will be familiar with Lizzy Stewart and her brilliant books but if you are yet to read this do seek it out. For me I appreciate the story as it’s a celebration of being a child really. Having time to play, to explore, and to be imaginative and the special relationships you may have with elders like your grandparent. For my girls well they always love meeting Nora and holding her hand in discovering quite a magical garden that includes a tiger! It turns out that being bored can work wonders in discovering amazing things and that grandmas can give great guidance.
Sunflower shoots and muddy boots
Explore gardening with your little ones with this brilliant non-fiction read. This is the first in a series of activity books aimed at preschoolers and up.
The book shares heaps of ideas for outdoors and in. Sprouting baby beans using a glass jar, growing radiant raspberries using a yogurt pot, tree spotting, flower pressing and creating a mud kitchen are only some of the ideas shared amongst super appealing illustrations.
The book is spiral bound with sturdy pages perfect for preschoolers and brilliant to accompany everywhere.
A walk through nature illustrated by Clover Robin
This wonderful book takes readers on a journey of discovery, celebrating all things nature. It encourages children to observe and appreciate the ever changing outdoors. The book explores new vocabulary and introduces readers to topics such as minibeasts, nest building and animals habitats underground. The engaging collaged art work is a feast for the eyes and the foldout pages and peep holes makes this a fantastic read with young readers in mind. See more over this book over on a previous piece here on the blog, A walk through nature.
It Starts With a Seed
This book is such a treat. It is also a fantastic book to explore all four seasons.
The illustrations are just so beautiful and set against a white background the natural palette of colours are so striking. Readers witness the journey of a tree growing, starting with a seed and flourishing into its wonderful tall self. The flowing rhyming stanzas are great to read aloud and a fantastic introduction to poetry. A superb read that won’t disappoint.
Peep Inside The Garden by A.Milbourne, S.Dimitri and N.Butler.
This super illustrated picture book is brilliant. The book includes lots of concise facts about the garden and outdoors including bees and other garden creatures, what you may find in a log pile and what can be found in a garden shed. There are so many lift the flaps through out the book which my girls really enjoy. This would make a great gift for young ones and is a lovely introduction to non-fiction fun.
Errol’s Garden by Gillian Hibbs
This is such a lovely diverse read with sweet illustrations. Errol not only do I love your name but I love how your dream of a garden results in bringing a community together.
The lost words
This is a breathtaking book that sprinkles the joy of nature and language on each and every page. It is a fine example of picture books being for everyone, not just for children. The book truly is mesmerising with a collection of poems amongst some wordless pages and wonderful artwork that is a window to the great outdoors. It only seemed right to capture this book outside.
Lift and look flowers and plants by Tracy Cottingham
This brilliant board book is a super introduction to nature all around us including flowers, herbs and trees.
The book includes lift the flaps and is a great book of discovery encouraging preschoolers and up to befriend nature. Head over to my previous blog to see more of this book Lift and look flowers and plants.
Stick by Irene Dickson.
If you often have an abundance of sticks at home due to your little ones collecting this is the book for them.
We are big fans of Irene Dickson’s work. This toddler friendly read has simple text and vibrant illustrations. The book celebrates the great outdoors and the fun that can be had with natural objects. Something as simple as a stick can not only bring so much joy but this story shows they can prove to be rather versatile also.
A Little Stuck by Oliver Jeffers.
Before reading this book I asked Little One what she would do if a kite got stuck in a tree. She replied with excitement that “A tall person” could help and failing that “A tall person with a ladder.” Floyd in the book through doesn’t have pals like my eldest and instead his way is far more hilarious. Maybe a pot of paint could help? Or perhaps an Orang-utan? Filled with Jeffers talented illustrations, this will have your mini yous in giggles.
Pairs! In the garden by Smriti Prasadam-Halls and Lorna Scobie.
This board book is a delight. It’s filled with rhyming text, adorable illustrations and lots of lift the flaps. Perfect to keep my girls engaged.
The lift the flaps are part of a memory game on each double page for which you need to find the pairs.
The book focusses on different garden wonders including butterflies, bees and caterpillars.
This wonderfully designed book is one my girls would highly recommend.
I do hope you have enjoyed reading about these wonderful books. There is such a vast selection of nature inspired books now and it’s wonderful that readers have their pick of fiction and non fiction relating to this theme.
Disclaimer: Many books were previously received from the publisher or purchased myself. However, I selected which books to use in this post. All words and opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.