A short guide to picture books and story books about the garden suitable from birth.
Summer is in full swing so Alfie and I are spending most of our days in the garden. He’s utterly obsessed with flowers, leaves, grass, bugs and animals so right now he thinks that heaven has come to Earth just for him! Gardening is a big part of our lives here on Cnoc na Gaire, we spend nearly as much time outside as we do indoors, however this being Ireland the weather doesn’t always want us playing outside, on those days we make do with books!
Here are 11 Montessori friendly picture books suitable for infants and young children. (By Montessori friendly I mean beautiful and realistic books, there’s more info on what to look for here). I’ve divided these books into two categories; Picture Books for Infants and Word Books for Children. This wasn’t strictly necessary as all of these books are filled with images and suitable for children of any age, but if you have readers under 18 months you may want to start with the picture books. They contain more illustrations than words and are therefore fully accessible for infants who have not yet learnt to associate text with words and meaning.
Picture Books for Infants
Ten Seeds by Ruth Brown – a very simple counting story with gorgeous hand drawn illustrations.
Flower Garden by Eve Bunting – very little text but what is there rhymes beautifully and is relevant to the images which are some of the nicest I’ve ever seen.
An Earthworm’s Life by John Himmelman – very detailed images and text, lots of opportunity for chatting about life under the soil.
The Robins in Your Backyard by Nancy Carol Williams – are robins different in the states? I didn’t recognise these birds, but a wonderful, accurate story about the life of our birds.
The Busy Tree by Jennifer Ward – this book gave even me a fresh admiration for the life of a tree!
In The Garden by Elizabeth Spurr – a sweet little board book, perfect for small hands.
Snail Trail by Ruth Brown – light on words but heavy on gorgeous illustrations, an ideal board book for baby readers
Word Books for Children
One Bean by Anne Rockwell – slightly cartoonish in style but this story really captures the thrill of the first sprout!
The Bumblebee Queen by April Pulley Sayre – a stunning and informative book recommended by lots of beekeepers associations.
The Reason for a Flower by Ruth Heller – an intricately drawn nonfiction book that’s perfect for a seed based treasure hunt.
Flip, Float, Fly by JoAnne Early Macken – this book has beautiful language, lots of ‘sound’ words and questions as well as big bold illustrations
One Small Place In A Tree by Barbara Brenner – a fascinating and realistic look at ‘village life’ inside a tree. Just beautiful!