Little Reader

Childhood is such a magical time, and I am always on the lookout for books that capture this while strengthening their relationship with the natural world. These are some of the ‘best of the best’ for ages 3 to 7 in reminding children of the importance of the natural world and how to connect with it.

Compost Stew: An A to Z Recipe for the Earth by Mary McKenna Siddals

This rhyming book with collage illustrations explains how to make compost. Both of my kids went nuts over this book when they were around 3 years old, and thankfully it is a book I can read dozens of times in a week without tiring of it.

The Curious Garden by Peter Brown

This story follows a boy living in a city with no greenery. When he stumbles upon some abandoned railroad tracks, he discovers a few ailing plants and starts caring for them. Slowly the city comes to life as others join his efforts, in this delightfully illustrated book.

child's story time
Image courtesy of ThomasLife.

Mrs. Sptizer’s Garden by Edith Pattou

This heartwarming book is about a loving and wise teacher who is given a packet of seeds at the end of the school year. We follow her as she cares for her garden, watching it thrive over time.

Weslandia by Paul Fleischman

When Wesley gets out of school for the summer, he is dreaming of an exciting project. In search of a staple crop for his invented civilization, he starts cultivating his garden. He discovers the utility of a certain edible plant that soon towers above him, serving also for clothing, recreation and shelter. Other children are drawn into his fun adventure, sending the message that it is alright to be different.

The Whale’s Song by Dyan Sheldon

Lilly’s grandmother tells her that she used to give and even receive gifts from the whales. One morning Lilly drops a yellow flower for the whales and then waits patiently. Eventually that night, the whales appear and call her name, in this haunting and magical tale.

Feature image courtesy of Melanie Holtsman

By Sarah Lozanova

Sarah Lozanova is an environmental journalist and copywriter and has worked as a consultant to help large corporations become more sustainable. She is the author of Humane Home: Easy Steps for Sustainable & Green Living, and her renewable energy experience includes residential and commercial solar energy installations. She teaches green business classes to graduate students at Unity College and holds an MBA in sustainable management from the Presidio Graduate School.