Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to plants. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about plants.
Our list includes board books, picture books, and chapter books. Board books are best for babies and toddlers from ages newborn to 2 or 3. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid.
We hope this list of kids books about plants can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book!
Mr. Aster, who likes routine, is happy to care for Little Green Girl when she arrives in his garden, but not interested in helping her see the world beyond its walls.
In Mexico, the poinsettia is called flor de la Nochebuenao flower of the Holy Night. At Christmastime, the flower blooms and flourishes, the quite exquisite red stars lighting up the countryside. This Mexican legend tells how the poinsettia came to be, through a little girl’s unselfish gift to the Christ Child. Beloved Newbery honor-winning author and Caldecott honor-winning illustrator Tomie dePaola has embraced the legend using his own special feeling for Christmas. His glorious paintings capture not only the brilliant colors of Mexico and its art, but also the excitement of the children preparing for Christmas and the hope of Lucida, who comes to see what makes a gift truly beautiful.
Just in time for spring, this is the second book in the Carter pop-up book series about the seasons. Each spread has a very brief verse and depicts common springtime flora and fauna. All things pictured are labeled (robins, water lilies, deer and fawns, cherry trees, etc.). The text is simple for very young readers to understand and enjoy.
Celebrated artist and lead character designer of Brave, Ratatouille, and Despicable Me, Carter Goodrich, shows that sometimes, even the prickliest people—or the crankiest cacti—need a little love. Hank is the prickliest cactus in the entire world. He sits in a pot in a window that faces the empty desert, which is just how he likes it. So, when all manner of creatures—from tumbleweed to lizard to owl—come to disturb his peace, Hank is annoyed. He doesn’t like noise, he doesn’t like rowdiness, and definitely does not like hugs. But the thing is, no one is offering one. Who would want to hug a plant so mean? Hank is beginning to discover that being alone can be, well, lonely. So he comes up with a plan to get the one thing he thought he would never need: a hug from a friend.
A 2018 New York Times and New York Public Library Best Illustrated Picture Book
When Mae’s family moves to a new home, she wishes she could bring her garden with her. She’ll miss the apple trees, the daffodils, and chasing butterflies in the wavy grass. But there’s no room for a garden in the city. Or is there?
Mae’s story, gorgeously illustrated in watercolor, is a celebration of friendship, resilience in the face of change, and the magic of the natural world.
Plants Fight Back - Beautiful illustrations provide kids with information on the clever adaptations that help plants survive.How do you survive when danger is near and you are rooted in the ground? Plants use their defenses and fight back!As readers turn the pages of this beautifully illustrated book, they will find fun and poetic language describing various situation where different plants find themselves under attack. This is followed by informative, science-based lessons about these plants and their survival methods. Backmatter includes a glossary and a STEM challenge activity to use at home or in the classroom.Backmatter Includes: Explore More for Kids: photos and information about the plants and animals in this book.Explore More for Teachers &amp;amp; Parents: STEAM connections!
Weslandia - “This fantastical picture book, like its hero, is bursting at the seams with creativity. . . . a vigorous shot in the arm to nonconformists everywhere” – Publishers Weekly (starred review) Enter the witty, intriguing world of Weslandia! Now that school is over, Wesley needs a summer project. He’s learned that each civilization needs a staple food crop, so he decides to sow a garden and start his own – civilization, that is. He turns over a plot of earth, and plants begin to grow. They soon tower above him and bear a curious-looking fruit. As Wesley experiments, he finds that the plant will provide food, clothing, shelter, and even recreation. It isn’t long before his neighbors and classmates develop more than an idle curiosity about Wesley – and exactly how he is spending his summer vacation.
Love Grows Everywhere - Meet a green-fingered family whose diverse community is bursting with love in this lushly illustrated and lyrical picture book. This beautiful and warmly-told story teaches us that love really does grow everywhere, in all shapes, forms, and sizes. Through gentle, rhyming text and vibrant illustrations, feel the love in a close-knit family who grow plants and sell them in their local market, and discover the types of love that exist in the many homes of their diverse community. There are kisses from Dad, songs with Grandma, charity from neighbours and playtime with friends. There’s old love, new love and everything in between! But there’s a new kid who is not quite so sure… Can the gardeners’ daughter be brave and extend the love to him? Beautiful and characterful illustrations from the exceptionally talented Tisha Lee help bring this book to life, and the gentle rhyming text from Barry Timms helps underscore the message of kindness, charity, and love. This warm and charming tale, perfect for Valentine’s Day and beyond, celebrates the many different ways love grows to make a brighter world.
Botanicum: Welcome to the Museum - Discover more than 160 exhibits in this virtual museum, open all hours. The 2017 offering from Big Picture Press’s Welcome to the Museum series, Botanicum, is a brilliantly curated guide to plant life. With artwork from Katie Scott of Animalium fame, Botanicum gives readers the experience of a fascinating exhibition from the pages of a beautiful book. From perennials to bulbs to tropical exotica, Botanicum is a wonderful feast of botanical knowledge complete with superb cross sections of how plants work.
Sophie finds a four-leaf clover that isn’t exactly lucky in the seventh book of The Adventures of Sophie Mouse! Sophie Mouse is painting in Clio’s Clover patch on a beautiful spring day when she spots something unusual. It’s a clover…but it has four leaves! Four-leaf clovers are supposed to bring good luck, right? Sophie waits and waits for this good luck, but it seems like just the opposite is happening. She spills paint all over herself, she doesn’t have any fun daydreams, and she forgets about an adventure she was supposed to go on with Hattie! Will Sophie ever be able to break this Clover Curse? With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, the Adventures of Sophie Mouse chapter books are perfect for beginning readers.
Wes Anderson’s Fantastic Mr. Fox meets Richard Scarry’s Best Word Book Ever in this stylish picture book about a quest for a rare and mysterious plant. Fox loves nature. There’s nothing he enjoys more than reading about and picking flowers. One evening, he comes across a rare specimen in his old botany book – the golden glow, a plant from the Wellhidden family, found only in the mountains . . . a plant that has yet to be described. Fascinated, Fox decides to set off on a quest in search of the mysterious golden glow. He packs his knapsack, a map, a compass, a flashlight, a sleeping bag and other items for his hike. Along the way, Fox observes many different kinds of trees and plants. He also encounters woodland friends who help him make it to the summit of the mountain. But when Fox eventually stumbles upon the object of his quest, he makes a surprising decision. With spreads of educational content interspersed throughout, The Golden Glow is a charming story that details the simple pleasures of a nature hike and celebrates observing the beauty of nature.
With magical animals, science, mystery, and adventure – the series Zoey and Sassafras has something for everyone! Easy-to-read language and illustrations on nearly every page make this series perfect for a wide range of ages. In the fifth book, an old friend visits Zoey at the barn with a mysterious glowing. . . seed pod? Zoey, Sassafras, and Pip must work together to discover what this mysterious rare magical plant needs to grow before all the seeds crumble to purple dust! Each story in the Zoey and Sassafras series features a new magical animal with a problem that must be solved using science. There isn’t a set formula for each book; Zoey sometimes needs to run experiments, while other times she needs to investigate a mystery, and yet other times she needs to do research. Zoey models how to keep a science journal through her handwritten entries in each story. Each story is complete with a glossary of the kid-friendly definitions for scientific terms used. The series highlights child-led inquiry science and the topics covered align with both Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards.
Walt and his friends are growing up fast! Everyone is the something-est. But . . . what about Walt? He is not the tallest, or the curliest, or the silliest. He is not the anything-est! As a BIG surprise inches closer, Walt discovers something special of his own!
Acclaimed Caldecott artist Molly Bang and award-winning scientist Penny Chisholm present a stunning, sweeping view of our ever-changing oceans.In this timely book, acclaimed Caldecott artist Molly Bang and award-winning M.I.T. professor Penny Chisholm use poetic language and dazzling illustrations to introduce the oceanic world. From tiny aquatic plants to the biggest whale or fish, Bang and Chisholm present a moving, living picture of the miraculous balance sustaining each life cycle and food chain deep within our wondrous oceans. On land or in the deep blue sea, we are all connected–and we are all a part of a grand living landscape. Award-winning scientist Penny Chisholm, a leading expert on oceans, packs Ocean Sunlight with clear, simple science, illuminated by Molly Bang’s wondrous illustrations. This informative, joyous book will help children understand and celebrate the astonishing role our oceans play in human life.
What Will Grow? - From the team behind the gorgeous What Will Hatch? comes a companion book all about seeds and the plants that grow from them–and featuring four pull-out gatefolds. “An enchanting vision” - Publishers Weekly, starred review.
How Do Apples Grow? - Learn from home and explore the world with these fun and easy board books!Young children love to eat apples and go to orchards. Here’s a Hello, World! board book that teaches toddlers all about how apples grow–from seed to sapling to tree to applesauce. Hello, World! is a series designed to introduce first nonfiction concepts to babies and toddlers. Told in clear and easy terms (Apple seeds start to grow when they are planted in soil and given sunlight, water, and fresh air) and featuring bright, cheerful illustrations, Hello, World! is a perfect way to bring science, nature, and culture into the busy world of a toddler, where learning never stops. Look for all the books in the Hello, World! series: -Solar System-Weather-Backyard Bugs-Birds-Dinosaurs-My Body-How Do Apples Grow?-Ocean Life-Moon Landing-Pets-Arctic Animals-Construction Site-Rainforest Animals-Planet Earth -Reptiles-Cars and Trucks -Music-Baby Animals-On the Farm
Rosie Sprout's Time to Shine - Violet runs the fastest, sings the highest, looks the fanciest, and talks the loudest. Everyone agrees that she’s the best. Except Rosie. Rosie isn’t fast, or loud, or fancy, but she’s tired of hearing that Violet is the best. When their class grows pea plants, Rosie’s and Violet’s are the first to sprout! But Violet’s is a little taller. So Rosie pushes some soil over Violet’s sprout to slow it down. And for a moment, Rosie’s plant is the best–but she feels terrible. And she feels even worse when she learns that Violet has the chicken pox. So for the next two weeks, Rosie waters her plant–and Violet’s too. She turns them in the sun, and sings them quiet growing songs. And her teacher says that Rosie is the best gardener she’s ever had. Definitely the best. This empathetic story captures every child’s desire to be noticed and praised, and the subtle competitions that go on in a classroom. It’s a book to swell every shy child’s heart.
The Goat Who Chewed Too Much - The thrilling conclusion to the hilarious early chapter book series from New York Times bestselling author Tom Angleberger and Newbery Honor winner Cece Bell! Meet Inspector Flytrap. He’s a Venus flytrap and world-class solver of BIG DEAL mysteries. Meet Nina the Goat. She’s a goat and Inspector Flytrap’s trusty assistant–except when she eats the clues! Follow along as they solve a train robbery, sneak into a dog show, and capture a master criminal! Read all the hilarious chapter book series in the Flytrap Files universe: Inspector Flytrap Didi Dodo, Future Spy DJ Funkyfoot
When a little girl moves from her home to an apartment in the city, she takes her pretty plants with her and one by one they grow and bloom and change both her world and the world all around her as she makes a new friend. When your heart is open, the world is full of possibilities.
Do plants really move? Absolutely! You might be surprised by all ways plants can move. Plants might not pick up their roots and walk away, but they definitely don’t sit still! Discover the many ways plants (and their seeds) move. Whether it’s a sunflower, a Venus flytrap, or an exotic plant like an exploding cucumber, this fascinating picture book shows just how excitingly active plants really are.
Unearth the true story of green-thumbed pioneer and activist Kate Sessions, who helped San Diego grow from a dry desert town into a lush, leafy city known for its gorgeous parks and gardens. Katherine Olivia Sessions never thought she’d live in a place without trees. After all, Kate grew up among the towering pines and redwoods of Northern California. But after becoming the first woman to graduate from the University of California with a degree in science, she took a job as a teacher far south in the dry desert town of San Diego. Where there were almost no trees. Kate decided that San Diego needed trees more than anything else. So this trailblazing young woman singlehandedly started a massive movement that transformed the town into the green, garden-filled oasis it is today. Now, more than 100 years after Kate first arrived in San Diego, her gorgeous gardens and parks can be found all over the city. Part fascinating biography, part inspirational story, this moving picture book about following your dreams, using your talents, and staying strong in the face of adversity is sure to resonate with readers young and old.
Have you ever eaten part of a flower? You have if you have eaten an apple! Find out how an apple grows from bud to flower to fruit–ready for you to pick! This is a Level 2 Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science title, which means the book explores more challenging concepts for children in the primary grades and supports the Common Core Learning Standards, Next Generation Science Standards, and the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) standards. Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out is the winner of the American Association for the Advancement of Science/Subaru Science Books &amp;amp; Films Prize for Outstanding Science Series.
“Many seeds travel inside fruits. The fruit is like a suitcase for the seeds. It protects them on their trip.” Readers will learn how fruits are designed to protect a plant’s seeds and also to help the plant spread its seeds to new places.
Du Iz Tak? - Du iz tak? What is that? As a tiny shoot unfurls, two damselflies peer at it in wonder. When the plant grows taller and sprouts leaves, some young beetles arrive to gander, and soon—with the help of a pill bug named Icky—they wrangle a ladder and build a tree fort. But this is the wild world, after all, and something horrible is waiting to swoop down—booby voobeck!—only to be carried off in turn. Su! With exquisitely detailed illustrations and tragicomic flair, Carson Ellis invites readers to imagine the dramatic possibilities to be found in even the humblest backyard. Su!
Plants Feed Me - An elegant, easy-to-read text and beautiful illustrations describe the parts of plants that humans eat. Watermelons are fruits. Cabbages are leaves. Walnuts are seeds. Carrots are roots. People eat many parts of plants. Even flowers! Detailed illustrations teach new readers about the edible parts of different plants, including leaves, flowers, stems, roots, and seeds. Labeled diagrams explain how an apple seed can grow into a new plant, reveal how a walnut is contained within its shell, and show how wheat seeds make flour.
Rare and Blue: Finding Nature's Treasures - A variety of rare blue species–from the blue lobster to the blue black bear–are rare and unique for a reason. Travel across Earth to discover eight species that are blue in color and are either naturally rare, threatened, or endangered. Panoramic illustrations and a playful main text prompt a search for the blue species at hand, while the page-turn and informative sidebars zoom in to reveal a closer look at the species. There’s a lot to uncover about the Karner blue butterfly, blue black bear, blue whale, Quitobacquito pupfish, Cerulean warbler, blue lobster, Eastern Indigo snake, and big bluestem grass. A surprise ending celebrates that planet Earth is the rarest and bluest and must be protected for the sake of all.
Caterpillar and Bean - Observe the ways plants and insects interact in a gentle introduction to growing for budding scientists. What’s that wedged in a crack in the ground, small and hard and wrinkly and brown? A bean seed! Soon it develops roots and leaves. And what’s that on the leaf? An egg! The egg hatches a caterpillar, and the caterpillar eats the leaves, getting bigger and bigger until it forms a chrysalis. Meanwhile, the plant is growing, too: it develops flowers, then bean pods, as it reaches up toward the sun. Side by side, plant and insect grow . . . and grow . . . and grow throughout the year, until they come full circle. This fourth book in the First Science Storybook series uses simple, clear language and colorful illustrations to inspire very young readers as they learn about life cycles.
Judy’s unusual pets—Jaws, Mouse, and Toady—are the center of attention in a new Judy Moody® book for newly independent readers. Dr. Judy knows a sick pet when she sees one, and Jaws the Venus flytrap is for-sure sick. Time for some urgent care and first aid! Judy Moody, pet vet, will never rest in her efforts to nurse Jaws back to health. In her quest for a medical miracle, Judy finds herself wrangling an unruly toad and seeking help from Mouse, the mind-reading cat. Nothing will stand in the way of Judy’s search for a cure. Not even the fearsome Carnivoria vampira! From Megan McDonald comes this selection of three mini-stories just right for luring young readers into the Moody universe.
Lily has a talent for making things grow. So when she finds a mysterious seed in the middle of the woods, she plants it. But the seedling that comes up is not anything Lily expected. It stinks and it oozes sap. Will Lily have to pull up her poor pesky plant?
Yummie, Yummie…Dirty Socks! Michael’s room was always a disaster area, strewn with all kinds of litter – heaps of papers, piles of crumpled clothes, and dirty socks everywhere. And that was just the top layer! The trouble was, half the room belonged to Michael’s brother Norman the neatness nut. It was the battle of the bedroom – with Norman fighting to keep his spotless territory free from the invasion of Michael’s mess.But that was before the appearance of the most amazing plants ever! Suddenly Michael’s junk heap disappeared and the room was taken over by the two giant plants that gobbled up socks faster than anyone could supply them! And their appetites were growing bigger every day!When the plant that militant slob Michael grows from his mail-order seeds develops an appetite for dirty socks, Michael and his neatnik brother, Norman, join together to persuade their parents to let them keep the ever-growing-and voracious-greenery.
From Newbery Medal-winning author Linda Sue Park, this is a captivating fantasy-adventure about a boy, a bat, and an amazing transformation. The first book in an enchanting trilogy, Forest of Wonders richly explores the links between magic and botany, family and duty, environment and home. This middle grade novel is an excellent choice for tween readers in grades 5 to 6, especially during homeschooling. It’s a fun way to keep your child entertained and engaged while not in the classroom. Raffa Santana has always loved the mysterious Forest of Wonders. For a gifted young apothecary like him, every leaf could unleash a kind of magic.When an injured bat crashes into his life, Raffa invents a cure from a rare crimson vine that he finds deep in the Forest. His remedy saves the animal but also transforms it into something much more than an ordinary bat, with far-reaching consequences.Raffa’s experiments lead him away from home to the forbidding city of Gilden, where troubling discoveries make him question whether exciting botanical inventions–including his own–might actually threaten the very creatures of the Forest he wants to protect.–Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Baby Scientist is an adorable board book series that brings fun, accessible science concepts to baby’s world using simple language, recognizable settings, and vibrant art. Read them all with your baby scientist! Baby Botanist studies plants. In her lab coat, she looks at plants both large and small. She finds plants growing in many places.
The Reason for a Flower: A Book About Flowers, Pollen, and Seeds - Shows a variety of flowers, tells how they are pollinated and form seeds, and describes some of the useful products we get from flowering plants.
Seeds Move! - Discover the fascinating and surprising ways that seeds move and find a place to grow in this gorgeous picture book from Caldecott Honoree Robin Page. Every seed, big or small, needs sunlight, water, and an uncrowded place to put down roots. But how do seeds get to the perfect place to grow? This exploration of seed dispersal covers a wide range of seeds and the creatures that help them move, from a coconut seed floating on waves to an African grass seed rolled by a dung beetle, to a milkweed seed floating on the wind.
Poppy and Sam and the Leaf Thief - It’s a beautiful day in the garden when Poppy and her panda friend, Sam, hear a commotion. Their friend Basil–who has always been known for his elegance–is in tears, because somebody nibbled his leaves last night! Poppy puts her detective skills to work, with help from Sam, and together they set out to find the culprit. They start by interviewing the insects, but Ms. Honeybee, Madame Ladybug, and Mr. Bumblebee all have contradictory suspicions of their own. So Poppy and Sam test some creative methods to catch the vandal red-handed. After a few misadventures, they find the remorseful nibbler–and Basil helps him understand that everything tastes better when it is freely offered. Illustrated with charming details and lots of kid appeal, this is an easy-to-read graphic novel with friendly characters and a suspenseful story line.
Summer Supper - From sowing seeds in spring to savoring succotash, follow the creation of a family meal from the farm to the picnic table on a warm summer evening. Told entirely in words beginning with the letter “s,” this book will give children an appreciation for the process by which their food travels to the dinner table. Mike Austin cleverly incorporates Rubin Pfeffer’s words into his art and creates a visual feast in which kids will love to indulge! Layers of humor and storytelling make this worth many revisits.
Hoping to become the greatest detective that ever grew, Inspector Flytrap, a Venus flytrap, and his assistant, Nina the Goat, investigate “big deal” mysteries at an art museum, a cookie shop, and a garden.
Illustrations and simple, rhyming text invite the reader to uncover the rainbow of colors hidden in a garden, which helps flowers bloom and bees find food. Includes facts about bees and their importance.
A Mexican jumping bean isn’t a bean at all. It’s a fascinating home and food source for a special kind of caterpillar! With Spanish vocabulary and a clever counting concept, this poetic story shares the life cycle of a Mexican jumping bean. This curious jumping insect is actually a seedpod from a shrub called yerba de la flecha, into which a caterpillar burrows, living inside the pod until it builds a cocoon and breaks out as a moth. Perfect for preschoolers and prereaders, this creative picture book explores the Mexican jumping bean’s daily life and eventual transformation and escape from the pod.
One day Fran found a flowerpot filled with soil. “I will grow this flower,” Fran said. “Grow flower.” But the tips stayed tiny. Fran is determined to get her flower bud to grow. But what do you feed a fussy flower? Fran figures that the flower will flourish on her own favorite foods–pizza, spaghetti, even strawberry ice cream! But the stubborn bud refuses to bloom. Finally, Fran discovers that a meal fit for a girl isn’t necessarily a meal fit for a flower. Just when she gets fed up, Mother Nature steps in with a smorgasborg of sunshine and rain…Won’t Fran be surprised!
Rhyming text explores the wonders of natural cooperation between flowers and the animals and insects of the forest.
The Tiny Seed - With his inimitable bright collage art and simple text, Carle follows the journey of a seed, from being blown by the wind to taking root and sprouting seeds of its own. Full color.
Little Acorn - Have you ever wondered what happens when a little acorn becomes a big oak tree? This beautifully illustrated story will delight children and parents alike, and also offers a perfect introduction to the life cycle of trees.
There Was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Clover! - There was an Old Lady who swallowed things over and over, and now she’s come back to swallow a clover! She’s back! That lovely old lady has returned just in time for St. Patrick’s Day. Now she’s swallowing items to make the perfect rainbow to hide a pot of gold.
From seed to plant - With simple language and bright illustrations, non-fiction master Gail Gibbons introduces young readers to the processes of pollination, seed formation, and germination. Important vocabulary is reinforced with accessible explanation and colorful, clear diagrams showing the parts of plants, the wide variety of seeds, and how they grow.
A celebration of animals and their habitats around the world, with art by award-winning illustrator Sam Brewster Walk This Wild World celebrates the wondrous diversity of animal life around the globe. With stunning artwork by Sam Brewster, travel to a new habitat and continent with every turn of the page. See polar bears in the Arctic tundra, elephants in the Serengeti grasslands, bobcats in the Sonoran Desert, gorillas in the Congo jungle, and much more. Complete with more than eighty flaps, this book is the perfect gift for all young animal lovers, and the incredible facts throughout ensure this title will be read again and again.
In the orchard a honey bee buzzes. Its legs brush pollen inside a fragrant pink flower: A small green fruit begins to grow and grow and grow…. Peaches and peas and even peanuts – they all begin with a single flower: How? Open this book and find out!
A gorgeous, lyrical introduction to the idea that plants aren’t as stationary as you might think. Watch out for those buttercup creepers! When you think of a plant, you don’t think of how it moves. But the feathery seeds of the dandelion fly to other gardens, strawberry tendrils creep, and maple seeds spin. There are many different ways plants move, not only as they grow, but in their quest to reproduce: falling, clinging, floating, burrowing–even exploding! Fourteen plant journeys are chronicled, but more than sixty species are highlighed in Émilie Vast’s fantastic and unique art style. Learn the scientific names for the different ways plants move.
“A timeless tale of imagination and friendship that children will be drawn to and enjoy again and again.”—School Library Journal “Pure magic! This is one of those books that I want to buy for every child I know! It is all here: imagination, humor, just a bit of danger, quirky illustrations, and a story line that gives children credit for being bright enough to understand multiple levels of graphic representation.”—Leah van Belle, Of Cabbages and Kings.
What are leaves? Why do some trees shed leaves in winter? How do leaves make food? Baby Explorer is a series of board books for little ones that encourages them to explore the world around them. The books are based on things in their world they can see, touch, hear, smell, or taste—things they can relate to and understand.
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