Reading in the Rain: Books for Kids — Gardening

One of the reasons I love living in the Pacific Northwest is because we are surrounded by green and growing things year round. The books I’ve chosen this week celebrate the natural world and gardeners of all shapes and sizes. Don’t have a garden of your own? Read one of these books and then join EarthCorps and the Green Kirkland Partnership on June 15 as they work to remove invasive species at Kirkland’s Watershed Park. Currently, King County Library System (KCLS) has copies of these books in their catalog.

The Curious Garden

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 9780316015479

The artwork in this American Library Association Notable Book is simply breathtaking.  Liam lives in a dark, grey city devoid of plants and gardens. One day he finds the stairway to an abandoned elevated railway. There he finds a few plants struggling to grow over the old rails. So Liam returns every day to tend the plants.  Soon the garden expands to cover every corner of the railway.



The Gardener

Square Fish, 9780312367497

This Caldecott Honor Book follows the story of Lydia Grace who lives in the country with her parents and her beloved grandma, but it’s 1935 and the Great Depression has made money scarce. So Lydia Grace is sent to the city to live with her Uncle Jim. She goes to school and learns to knead bread in her Uncle’s bakery, but, just like her Grandma, she has a passion for gardening. Times are tough, but when Lydia Grace finds the door to the roof of her apartment building she hatches a plan to use her green thumb to bring a smile to Uncle Jim’s face.


Grandpa Green

Roaring Brook Press, 1596436077

Grandpa Green’s life story is told by his great-grandson as he walks through Grandpa’s garden. Each stage of Grandpa’s life is represented by trees, plants, and intricate topiary. Grandpa grew up on a farm, went to war, married the love of his life, and had many grandkids and even more great-grandkids. Now he is old and sometimes he forgets things, “but the important stuff, the garden remembers for him.” The illustrations are the focal point in this sweet, but never sugary, life story that won a Caldecott Honor Medal in 2011.