About Me

My name is Genevieve Woods and in addition to being the mother of an adorable preschooler named Oscar and his adorable toddler brother Henry, I am the Children's Buyer at Spellbinder Books, a small independent bookstore in Bishop, California. I am often asked by customers for recommendations...and thus the idea for this blog was sparked.

Many sites recommending books for kids are created by librarians and non-profits. While these are great sites, they often recommend out-of-print books. This site is all about the great books that are available now! While I am not being paid for these recommendations, I would appreciate it if readers would purchase the books I recommend from local independent bookstores, or even B&N. Basically don't buy from the evil empire (A_A_O_), because if you do much of our literary knowledge will be lost.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Gardening Books

I love my garden. I don't have any great fondness for digging or weeding, but the joy I feel eating a tomato off the vine that I PLANTED is real. I want to share this joy with my children. Fortunately there are some adorable books that can help.

by Elizabeth Spurr
illustrated by Manelle Oliphant
Ages 0-3
This little board book is actually my favorite gardening book to come out this season. Each page has only one to two words on it, yet the book rhymes AND it actually explains the entire gardening process. Author Elizabeth Spurr has accomplished something incredible, yet she made it so simple it looks easy. The illustrations are clear and cute and perfect. This is a book every gardening family should own.

by Bonnie Christensen
Ages 2-6
The illustrations in this book are jaw-dropping. Gardens become works of art (which is sorta what they are). The story, told in spare verse that sometimes rhymes, is about two friends who work on their garden throughout the entire year. The story ends with a Thanksgiving feast and a final page with notes about growth processes. The final page is really very good. This is a beautiful and informative book for pre-schoolers.
by Julie Fogliano
illustrated by Erin E. Stead
Ages 3-7
As much a book about longing as it is a book about gardening, And Then It's Spring is a whimsical masterpiece whose best-seller status already defines it as well-loved. It is about a boy who waits, and waits, surrounded by brown, hoping for a hint of green. There is one spectacular illustration in which the boy listens for the hum of green and you can see his little seeds, planted in mounds, growing roots underground, but without shoots yet. You can also see ant and mice tunnels burrowing beneath the little seed roots. The book does not give much information on gardening, but that isn't really it's point. The focus of the story is on the waiting, longing, and yearning for your plants to GROW.

by Stella Fry
illustrated by Sheila Moxley
Ages 3-8
This story of a boy helping his Grandpa with his garden has all the gritty details. Compost - Grandpa's got it. Slugs - Grandpa's got those too. The book really gives you the sense of a garden as a year-long pursuit with Grandpa out there in every season. After reading it you will feel like you've got dirt under your fingernails. If you actually want to get some dirt under those fingernails there is an informative back section with crop rotation info and more that will help you get started.

by Kathleen Kudlinski
illustrated by David Schuppert
Ages 2-8
This is not a new title, and it is not a book about gardening, but it so perfectly illustrates how plants grow that I felt I had to include it. With remarkably entertaining text What Do Roots Do? shows us how all plants live and survive through their roots. The illustrations are marvelous. This book makes the science of plant growth a lot of fun!


  1. Great book recommendations. I think the best way to get kids involved in gardening though is to just get them outside doing it. Section off a small square of flowerbed and tell them it's theirs, then pop to the local garden centre and let them pick out seeds and bulbs they want to plant - they'll love watching them grow, and if it's veg, they'll love it if you get them involved in collecting the veggies and turning them into a salad when the time's right!

    1. Too true, however if you have a son like mine (who isn't inherently interested in anything that doesn't have wheels) reading a book ahead a time really helps increase his enthusiasm!