Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Resources: great books on playing in the garden

Books on gardening:

  1. Ball, Ann – Catholic Traditions in the Garden – Our Sunday Visitor (Huntington, Indiana). 1998. This book is replete with ideas and suggestions for using things from nature (either growing them yourself or buying the materials from a craft store) to celebrate the liturgical year, embracing traditions from the Catholic church and generally reveling in God’s creation. Ball does a great job of describing the background to the “traditions” while also giving clear and easy-to-follow directions for all the projects.
  2. Davis, Tina – Sow and Grow: A Gardening Book for Children – Stewart, Tabori and Chang (New York). 2008. This is third children’s book by Tina Davis that carries the same retro feel to give 21st century children an idea of the simpler life. In this book, she links indoor gardening and related activities to seasonal celebrations and changes. The book also gives kids basic plant biology information and simple gardening science. The spiral binding allows the book to lie flat for hands-holding-chin, belly-reading time.
  3. Fryer, Jane Eayre – The Mary Frances Gardening Book: Adventures Among the Garden People – Lacis Books (Berkley, CA) 1998. This book tells the story of a family project: Mary Frances and her brother plant a garden around her playhouse and discover just how fun it is to grow things. A Mary Frances book wouldn’t complete without helpers. In this one the Garden People help explain just exactly what goes on when the flowers
    bloom or the vegetables come up from the ground.
  4. Hart, Avery & Mantell, Paul – Kids Garden: The Anytime, Anyplace Guide to Sowing and Growing Fun – Williamson Publishing (Charlotte, VT). 1996. I love the “kids can” book series from Williamson. The books are all black and white with hand-drawings; but there is so much fun information and activities that the “no bells and whistles” quickly is lost! This book is packed with fun things to grow and then fun things to do, explore, or learn with what you’ve grown.
  5. Lovejoy, Sharon – Roots, Shoots, Buckets and Boots: Gardening Together with Children – Workman Publishing (New York). 1999. This book is an amazing combination of gardening tips and unique activities for creating in the garden with children. Lovejoy is a master at these books!
  6. Lovejoy, Sharon – Sunflower Houses: Inspiration from the Garden – A book for children and their grown-ups – Workman Publishing (New York). 2001. Another great gardening book that has fun, exciting and unique ideas (like building a “play house” out of sunflower plants!) for nurturing creativity within a garden.
  7. Lovejoy, Sharon – Trowel & Error: Over 700 Shortcuts, Tips and Remedies for the Garden – Workman Publishing (New York). 2003. This books is loaded with great tips and ideas for working in the garden; many of her herbicides and pest traps are kid friendly. I love her illustrations which are gentle and lovely drawings.
  8. Matthews, Clare – How Does Your Garden Grow? Great Gardening for Green-Fingered Kids – Hamlyn (New York). 2005. This one is for the kids that REALLY want to go far with gardening – whether it’s flowers, food or wildlife growing in your garden, this book will help your kids give their green thumbs a work-out. It’s beautifully illustrated and quite detailed!
  9. Morris, Karyn – The Kids Can Press Jumbo Book of Gardening – Kids Can Press Ltd (Niagara Falls, NY). 2000. Printed on newsprint and paperbound, this humble book has tons of great projects and information for gardening. Starting out with how gardens grow and then moving on to fruit & vegetable gardens, flower gardens, native plants, wildlife gardens and finishing up with school and community gardens. The wealth of information in this humble book is amazing.
  10. Rushing, Felder – Better Homes and Gardens New Junior Garden Book – Meredith Books (DesMoines, IA). 1999. The kooky illustrations will hook your kids while the detailed information will hook you. This is another good one for giving the kids something fun and creative to do while also giving them great information on why things happen the way they do.
  11. Spohn, Rebecca – Ready, Set, Grow! A Kid’s Guide to Gardening – Good Year Books (Tucson, AZ). 2007. This book covers indoor gardening, outdoor gardening and “food and fun from the garden” – what more could you want to nurture creativity? The illustrations are a bit goofy, but the information in this one makes it easy to ignore the pictures!
  12. Wilkes, Angela – First Garden Activity Book – DK Publishing (New York). 2008. First, this is spiral bound – which gives points from the get go! Then it has some really cool ideas for different types of gardens, activities and great (and really interesting) plant facts. Usually “first books” are for babies or toddlers – this one isn’t; it’s definitely for elementary and on!

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