Sunday, April 3, 2016

The Little Gardener

Since it's that time of year to start thinking about planting...

Emily Hughes 2015

Emily Hughes' bright full page pictures show a botanical world where a very little gardener (he even has a pet earth worm!) lives.  While he takes pride and works hard in his garden, he's simply too little and the world around him too big to make much of a difference.  It takes the help of some bigger gardeners, who are inspired by a beautiful flower, to help transform the Little Gardener's home. 

Friday, April 1, 2016

Miss Maple's Seeds

After reading A Seed is Sleepy, why not continue the theme and try Miss Maple's Seeds, with a more fanciful charming approach.  At the end of every summer Miss Maple collects seeds and takes care of them as if they were her children.  

She learns each seed by heart, all similar yet none the same.  "Take care, my little ones,"  Miss Maple says, "for the world is big and you are small."

She takes them on field trips to learn about being a seed, she reads them flower tales by firefly light, and keeps them cozy and dry during the winter, then sends them (in Eliza Wheeler's beautiful illustrations) out into the world to grow with a final refrain, "Take care, my little ones, for the wold is big and you are small.  But never forget...even the greatest of trees once had to grow up from the smallest of seeds."

Eliza Wheeler 2013

Other books by Eliza Wheeler:

The Day Before April

The Day Before April

The day before April
Alone, alone,
I walked in the woods 
And sat on a stone.

I sat on a broad stone
And sang to the birds.
The tune was God's making
But I made the words.

-Mary Carolyn Davies

Thursday, March 31, 2016

A Seed is Sleepy

I love finding books that do a really wonderful job of teaching about science and nature but in an engaging artistic way.  Diana Hutts Aston's A Seed is Sleepy is a winner!  This picture book describes the importance of seeds, the plants they come from and how they grow and travel.  We learned about how the shape of seeds and the way they are hidden (or not) inside a plant helps them to find a new place in the ground and perpetuate the species.  Charlotte and I talked about the burs that we've had stick to our clothes and the seeds we've found on the beach that have floated on the ocean.  I will definitely be looking for Aston's other nature books!

Dianna Hutts Aston
illustrated by Sylvia Long 2007

I particularly like how the front page shows different seeds...
and the back page shows the corresponding plants.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

How to Grow a Friend

All along our front walk pink and purple hyacinths are blooming.  The other day Charlotte walked outside, took a deep breath and exclaimed, "It smells like Spring!"  So how about some Spring books...

Sara Gillingham

I love the simple graphic illustrations of this book that uses gardening imagery to describe growing and nurturing a friendship.  In simple language and pictures children can learn that all relationships need kindness and sometimes forgiveness and of course fun.  

Friday, March 25, 2016

A Tale for Easter

An Easter book more in the fanciful magical realm than the religious one.  Tasha Tudor's pictures are particularly lovely as she describes a little girl's dreaming on the night before Easter morning.

Tasha Tudor 2001

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Why a Disguise?

Laura Numeroff
illustrated by David McPhail 1996

Sometimes you just need a disguise- for the dentist, for the school bully, or when it's time to take a bath. Wonderfully funny!