March is Reading Month: Stories with plant and garden themes

March is a perfect time to share the love of gardening with kids through books.

March is Reading Month, and kids across Michigan and the nation are reading, reading, reading. Some of the reading comes with rewards like trips to a baseball game, a class pizza party or any number of activities kids would enjoy. Some classrooms have guest readers come into the classroom to read to students. Schools are sponsoring pajama parties in the evenings to encourage families to read together. With all the reading going on, this is a perfect time to share the love of gardening with kids through books.

In the past, I have read gardening books to classrooms and passed out seeds to the students. This can be done at home, a local preschool, school or library group. It’s not too late. Many teachers would welcome a guest reader and fit it into their schedule. If not in March, anytime is a great time to read, and reading a gardening book to kids is a bonus.

You most likely have a favorite gardening book to share, but it you don’t, here are a few of my favorites.

  • “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle. A classic for all young children, the hungry caterpillar eats his way through a variety of fruits. He then overeats on junk food only to get sick. He finally eats lots of greens and feels better only to fall asleep and wake up as a beautiful butterfly.
  • “Oliver’s Vegetables” by Vivian French. Oliver’s grandfather lives on a farm and grows a large vegetable garden. However, Oliver does not like vegetables. In his search for potatoes to make French fries, Oliver finds other vegetables. Finally, Oliver finds the potatoes and gets to enjoy the French fries and in the process learns that other vegetables are tasty too.
  • “Cook-A-Doodle-Doo!” by Janet Stevens and Susan Steven Crummel. Written like “The Little Red Hen” with a twist, the big brown rooster makes a strawberry shortcake using his grandmother’s recipe. This is fun to read, has great sidebar cooking tips and a recipe for strawberry shortcake is included.

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