Plants & Flowers: Favorite Spring Picture Books
I’m all three, and I love to read books about plants, nature, and science to my kids. I’ve created lists in the past with some of our favorite books about seeds and growing things, as well as pollinators and plants. We’re always finding new favorites, though.
I'm also working on a new book about bees, and since bees and flowers belong together, this seemed like a good time to revisit some of our favorite picture books about flowers, plants, and gardening. (If you want to find out more about my book, you can get updates here.)
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- Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert – This classic is a bright, cheerful book about different types of flowers as they sprout and grow with all the colors of the rainbow. It’s a fun way to learn about either colors or flowers
- Roma’s Gift by Brenda Lewis, illustrated by Katy Brown – This is a cute story about a plant that’s different from the other plants in the garden. She doesn’t have big, beautiful flowers or a wonderful scent . . . but she does have a sweet surprise of her own.
- Bloom Boom! by April Pulley Sayre – This picture book is an explosion of color. The vivid photographs show a variety of ecosystems from desert landscapes to flowery forests, and it’s a fun, lyrical read as well.
- Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt by Kate Messner, illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal – This book is another well-known picture book. It’s a fun story about all the life hiding in a garden, from the flowers and veggies growing up above to the tiny creepy-crawlies hiding in the dirt below.
- In a Garden by Tim McCanna, illustrated by Aimée Sicuro – This book sings the life of a garden with color and busy critters everywhere. It’s sure to give young children lots of fun ideas for bug hunting and birdwatching in their own yards.
- A Seed is Sleepy by Dianna Hutts Aston, illustrated by Sylvia Long – Seeds are part of a plant’s lifecycle, and this lovely picture book introduces children to all kinds of seeds from flower seeds to tree seeds.
- Pollen: Darwin’s 130 Year Prediction by Darcy Pattison – Most people expect plants to be pollinated by bees, but what about a flower can only be pollinated by an insect with a 13” tongue? This book explains how scientists can use the shape of a flower to predict the type of insect that pollinates it.
- Just Like Us! Plants by Bridget Heos, illustrated by David Clark – This book is humorous, fact-filled look at plants. Did you know that plants eat, breath, wear disguises, and even steal water from each other? This book has the facts.
- What’s Inside a Flower?: And Other Questions About Science & Nature by Rachel Ignotofsky – Look inside the world of plants! This picture book introduces children to plants through infographics and fun illustrations.
- The Big Book of Blooms by Yuval Zommer – This book comes from one of my favorite nature authors. It’s a fun, browsable picture book packed with lush illustrations showing common and exotic plants from ecosystems around the world.
- Flower Talk: How Plants Use Color to Communicate by Sara Levine, illustrated by Masha D’yans – How do pollinators find flowers? This book explains with a quirky, humorous story.
- The Secret Garden of George Washington Carver by Gene Barretta, illustrated by Frank Morrison – This picture book is different from the others above because it addresses racism and political conflicts in the United States, but it’s also the story of a famous scientist who loved plants. As a boy, George Washington Carver created his own secret garden to study flowers, and as an adult he helped change American farming practices to protect the land and help farmers. This is also a gorgeous book full of colors and contrasts of all kinds.
Books for older readers
The picture books above are just a sample of some of the amazing books about plants available these days. If you have older readers or want to learn about plants yourself, I also recommend these two books:
- Botany in a Day: The Patterns Method of Plant Identification by Thomas J. Elpel – this book isn’t an exhaustive introduction to botany, but it’s a great way to learn about plant identification. The book explains how plant families follow different patterns and how botanists can use these patterns to identify a particular plant, especially plants from certain families.
- Flora: Inside the Secret World of Plants – Created by DK Publishing, the Smithsonian, and Kew Botanical Gardens, this book is a gorgeous, full-color introduction to plants from tiny mosses to massive trees. Flora is packed with information in a browsable, coffee-table photo book.