Planting a Rainbow
Lois Ehlert
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Growing Vegetable Soup
Lois Ehlert
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

These two charming books have been around a while, but they’re worth reminding folks about. My daughter could not get enough of Planting a Rainbow when she was a toddler and preschooler. Recently, we gave board book editions of both books to a friend for her kids; I could hardly pry the books out of my trio’s hands in order to wrap them up. They’re all old enough to read the books now, so they have a renewed enjoyment in them.

Both books are structured the same way: a garden is planted from start to harvest. The seeds/bulbs/rhizomes/cuttings are all labeled with the name of the resulting fruit/flower. The book progresses through the growing season, showing each plant growing and blossoming (labeled on each page). Ehlert’s bold, collage style illustrations are an especial hit with young children.

Friday Fun Activity!

You guessed it: go plant a garden!! These books are wonderful aids in showing our children the intricacies of Creation as well as how much work and time goes on behind the scenes for that delicious carrot or beautiful zinnia. Children love to see how different all the seeds look and love getting their hands dirty and poking around in the dirt. It’s not too late to start a garden–flowers or vegetables–this year.

Flowers: Planting a Rainbow features many common flowers, some of which are very kid-friendly. Pick up a packet of zinnia or marigold seeds and let your children have some fun. These flowers are easy to grow and you will still get some nice summer blooms out of them (you may have to water them/baby them a bit if it’s already quite hot in your area).

Vegetables: Growing Vegetable Soup talks about a lot of different veggies. Some of the easiest to grow are things like zucchini ; you still have plenty of time to plant those for a harvest (cucumbers, melons, snap/pole beans–all are easy to plant from seed now). No time to garden? You might consider making a regular visit to your local farmer’s market or joining a CSA (community supported agriculture).

Just to inspire you MORE, we have 1 board book copy of each book to give away!! We will be including a little extra special surprise for you along with the board book. Leave a comment saying what your gardening plans are and/or a favorite children’s book about gardens and which book you’d prefer (no guarantees). We’ll choose names at random.

Giveaway ends midnight EST, Thursday May 31. Check back next Friday for the winners!