On Our Bookshelf

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Hurry, Hurry, Mary Dear by N.M. Bedecker; Illustrated by Erik Blegvad

If there ever was a book that beautifully (and humorously) depicted the shifting of seasons from fall to winter – this is it. Check out the post from December 2017 for a full description. Perfect for 4 - 7 yo's.

Higglety, Pigglety Pop by Maurice Sendack

When I read Higglety Pigglety Pop!I feel like I am in a lovely dream that makes perfect sense in the midst of it. But when I wake up, or in this case finish reading, I am hard pressed to explain it to someone with any certainty. The food references (of which there are MANY) are so nostalgic and mouth-watering. As a whole, they are almost a character in and of themselves. Perfect for 6 yo as a read aloud, great for a 7-8 yo to read on their own.

Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf by Lois Ehlert

When I think about a book to accompany a recipe using maple syrup my mind immediately turns to Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf by Lois Ehlert. I’ve often used this book with classes I teach because it focuses in such a relatable way on the life cycle of a tree.

The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss

In this classic tale, a little boy plants and tends to a carrot seed and waits and watches for it to grow into a carrot. It is a great introduction to the life cycle of plants and how to care for them. We also love this book for the great lesson of patience and determination. Perfect for 3 – 5 yo’s.

Eating the Alphabet by Lois Ehlert

As with all Lois Ehlert books, We love the colors and simplicity of Eating the Alphabet. Some of the images are abstract and many of the vegetables are less familiar to children. But, this is a great book to introduce new foods and even better when it precedes or follows a meal that features that new food. Perfect for 4 and 5 yo’s who are learning the alphabet.

Farm Anatomy: The Curious Parts and Pieces of Country Life by Julia Rothman.

A great book for older children (5-12 yo’s) who are curious about farming. Early readers will be fascinated by the detailed pictures. Does include some recipes and other fun projects such as quilting, and flower pressing.

The Gingerbread Man

Who doesn’t love the story of The Gingerbread Man. It’s also worth checking out The Gingerbread Baby by Jan Brett – both for the wonderful illustrations and also for the fun twist on the classic tale. Gingerbread is an amazing recipe for exploring plant parts – the cinnamon is from the bark of a tree, cloves are flower buds, ginger is a rhizome (underground stem) and sugar is from the stem of sugarcane. Get your mortar and pestle out and get ready for your kitchen to smell delicious!

Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois Ehlert

This has been my “go to” baby shower book for years. It is a perfect introduction to gardening and cooking. We’ve read this book to our kids from birth and will still flip through with our older ones. It’s a classic!

How Did That Get in My Lunchbox by Chris Butterworth and Lucia Gaggiotti

We love this book because it gives the process of farm to lunch box with fun illustrations and a simple narrative. I like to have the kids pick which food to read about so it can be a 2-3 minute read or a longer read with discussion. It sparks children’s thoughts and has them trail through the process of getting food that is served to them. The book can also be a foundation for a longer curriculum of exploring where food comes from, and can be read during or after lunch in school.

I Will Never Eat a Tomato by Lauren Child

It’s a fun and silly book about a picky eater. We like it because there are no parents involved, just siblings. By the end of the story even the picky eater realizes how silly she behaves with food, and touches the issue of food preferences as a way of control. The ending makes everyone smile, parents and children alike.

Little Pea by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

A funny little book about a pea who is a picky eater. A change of perspective helps children understand it is all a matter of taste, and perhaps even encourages eating green foods in a stress-free way.

The Little Red Hen

This classic story uses animals instead of people to emphasize how lengthy it is to make food, and how much effort goes into it. We like it because it demonstrates how rewarding it is to plant, harvest and cook.

Nature’s Day: Discover the World of Wonder on Your Doorstep by Kay Maguire and Danielle Kroll

A book that is an eye opener. Makes children and grown up alike notice details around us. The book is divided by season and by type of outdoors; helping country as well as city kids realize nature around them. Can be a go-to book before taking a hike, going to a farm, or to refer to when the seasons are changing.

Pancakes Pancakes by Eric Carle

A great story about a farm boy who has a craving for pancakes, but needs to go through all the stages of acquiring his ingredients. Helps children understand the source of foods, and perhaps makes them appreciate supermarkets.

Sunbread by Elisa Kleven

We love this book because it captures the warmth and cozy feeling you get when you’re baking bread at home. On a wintery day, warm crusty bread can warm up our hearts. It also demonstrates how food can bring communities together.

Tops and Bottoms by Janet Stevens

We love this book. It has so many life lessons as well as lessons about the efforts of growing food and botanical details of which parts of the plants we eat. May be too long for younger children to listen to all at once. Spectacular illustrations.

A Seed Is Sleepy by Dianna Hutts Aston and Sylvia Long

A beautiful book with detailed illustrations and a simple narrative. Younger children will enjoy hearing the “short version” (reading the titles on each page); older or more curious children will enjoy the details and numerous examples of the seeds around us.


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