Step into spring with a book about gardens! The Fort Worth Library has books that will appeal to children of every age and reading level and that celebrate gardening from many angles. Kids with a green thumb might enjoy reading about how to plant their own garden, while mystery lovers may prefer a funny whodunit set on a grumpy neighbor's backyard plot. Whether you are seeking a book about planting tips, a picture book about plants and peace, or a novel about cultivating friendships, you will find it at the library.
Olivia Plants a Garden
By Emily Sollinger
Simon Spotlight, 2011
Olivia, star of many picture books and her own TV show, now has her own series of charming easy-reader books. In this story, she is excited when her teacher gives her some "surprise" seeds to plant at home. What will grow out of them? This book combines simple sight words, some rebus symbols and a familiar, beloved character to create an enjoyable reading adventure for the very young.
Who's Hiding? In the Garden: A Lift-the-Flap Book
By Christiane Gunzi
This colorful board book gives children a chance to guess what delightful garden surprise is hidden beneath the flap on each page. Vibrant photographs first reveal five butterflies, then four ladybugs, and the countdown continues to a special treat at the end.
A Child's Garden: A Story of Hope
By Michael Foreman
Candlewick Press, 2009
In a bleak area destroyed by war, a little boy lives on the wrong side of a barbed-wire fence. In the rubble, he sees a fragile sprout. He waters and tends it, and eventually, it becomes a flourishing grapevine that curls around the fence. Then soldiers come and tear down the plant, and the boy thinks his heart will break -- but roots are deep, and seeds can spread. Will hope arise anew in the spring? This thoughtful picture book presents a child's garden as a metaphor for world peace.
How Does My Garden Grow?
DK Publishing, 2011
Young gardeners will get many great ideas for spring projects out of this book. There are tips on how to grow many kinds of plants, including vegetables and herbs, as well as instructions on how to create an "Ivy Man" plant, a vine that grows around a wire framework. Once the plants are grown, kids can use them in a tasty recipe, or create one of the craft items included in this book. All of the activities are beautifully illustrated, with large full-color photos that make the instructions easy to follow.
Digging Up Trouble
By Kim Wayans
Penguin Group, 2010
Amy and her friends have come up with a great idea on how to save a community garden in their neighborhood: They will hold fundraisers! But one group wants to run a carwash, while the other is eager to have a bake sale. Before long, the two groups are competing so aggressively against each other that Amy fears they have lost sight of their goal. This novel for elementary school-age readers is particularly commendable for including characters of multiethnic backgrounds.
Who's Buried in the Garden?
By Ray Villareal
Piñata Books, 2009
Did old Mrs. Foley really poison her husband and bury him in her garden? Artie Mendoza seems to think so, but his friend Joshua isn't sure, because Joshua thinks Artie is the world's biggest liar. But when Joshua sees a large, odd-shaped mound covered in flowers, he and his friends are determined to discover the truth. In the process, they also learn about the destructive power of gossip and the importance of choosing your friends wisely. This suspenseful page-turner will be especially appealing to boys who love a good mystery.
Claire Abraham is a children's librarian at the Fort Worth Library. These books are available at most library branches.