Share the Joy of Reading and Nature with These Recommended Books

Members of the Garden’s education team love nature, love books and love books about nature. Winter is a great time to snuggle down with your kids and a great story–and to look for gifts for the young readers and soon-to-be-readers in your life. We asked our educators for recommendations of new or favorite children’s books, and here’s what they suggested:

Green Green: A Community Gardening Story by Marie Lamba, illustrated by Sonia Sanchez. Recommended for children 2-5 years old. The publisher says of the book:

Green grass is wide and fresh and clean for a family to play in, and brown dirt is perfect for digging digging a garden. But when gray buildings start to rise up and a whole city builds, can there be any room for green space? The neighborhood children think so, and they inspired the community to join together and build a garden for everyone to share in the middle of the city.

VP of Education Tracy Friday says, “An amazing book connecting families to urban community gardening. Readers will see the simple things that can be done to make our world more Green Green!”

Leaf Man by by Lois Ehlert. Recommended for children 2-5 years old. the publishers says of the book:

Fall has come, the wind is gusting, and Leaf Man is on the move. Is he drifting east, over the marsh and ducks and geese? Or is he heading west, above the orchards, prairie meadows, and spotted cows? No one’s quite sure, but this much is certain: A Leaf Man’s got to go where the wind blows. Ehlert crafts each illustration out of actual fall leaves on every spread to reveal gorgeous landscapes. This playful and whimsical book celebrates the natural world and the rich imaginative life of children.

Early Childhood Program Manager Cheryl Potemkin says, “I’m loving all the fall color that seems unique to this year in Fort Worth. Our adult educator and horticulturalist has said it’s because of all the recent rain that has coincided with cold fronts that has made for such a spectacular show this year. It has brought up an old familiar favorite for me: Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert. I’d like to encourage families to take a walk to enjoy the leaf show, gather leaves, and create their own leaf creatures (and stories to go with them)!”

One Million Trees: A True Story by Kristen Balouch. Recommended for children 4-8 years old. The publisher says of the book:

When Kristen Balouch was 10 years old, her parents made a surprising announcement: their whole family was going on a trip to plant trees! Kristen, her sisters, and her mom and dad—and their pet, Wonder Dog!—flew from their California home to a logging site in British Columbia. There, they joined a crew working to replant the trees that had been cut down. In One Million Trees, Kristen reflects on the forty days they spent living in a tent, covered in mud and bug bites, working hard every day to plant a new forest.  Young readers will learn a little French, practice some math skills, and learn all about how to plant a tree the right way!

Education Program Manager Sheryl Schickedanz says of the book, “I love this story, because of the focus on trees, and because it’s based on a true story! Plus my grandson loved it.”

The Dirt Book: Poems about Animals That Live Beneath Our Feet by David L. Harrison, illustrated by Kate Cosgrove. Recommended for children 5 to 9 years old. The publisher says of this book:

Unearth the glorious mysteries that lie beneath our feet with 15 fun and fact-filled poems about soil–what it is, how it’s made, and who lives in it! Spectacular vertical panoramas illustrating life underground accompany 15 funny, fascinating poems that explore dirt and the many creatures that make their homes underground. Spiders, earthworms, ants, chipmunks and more crawl across the pages, between stretching roots and buried stones. 

Innovative Learning Manager for Special Programs Anna Sorelle says of this book, “It’s geared for ages 5-9, but the whimsical poems and beautiful illustrations about the animals that live underground can be enjoyed by the whole family. A great book to spark creativity and inspiration to learn more about life under our feet!”

All of these books are available from the Fort Worth Public Library and from booksellers. We hope you find a new favorite for your whole family.

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