Eight Great Books to Support Nature-Based Learning in May

Eight Great Books to Support Nature-Based Learning in May | Wonderkin

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The beginning of May is especially beautiful in our neck of the woods. Leaves emerge on trees, the grass seems to spring up another inch every day, and the seeds we’ve planted are all sprouting happily in the garden.

With so much new plant growth, it’s the perfect time to dive in to some basic botany exploration, and these eight great books offer a perfect framework for doing just that. 


One Bean by Anne Rockwell

The simple text and clear illustrations in this story offer a perfect introduction into the growth cycle of a plant. Paired with a simple seed starting activity (I'm a big fan of starting beans in clear plastic bags tapped to the window so that the children can clearly observe the initial root growth), this book is a natural introduction into early childhood botany study. 


From Seed to Plant by Gail Gibbons

This informational text offers a comprehensive overview of plant growth, pollination, and seed dispersal. While less engaging than some other titles on this list, it's a useful addition to any collection because it makes an excellent child-friendly reference text. 


Planting the Wild Garden by Kathryn Galbraith

The lyrical text and gentle illustrations in this book about seed dispersal make it an engaging read for all ages. It's full of information about the wide variety of ways in which seeds get planted, and does a nice job of demonstrating how people, animals, plants, and weather all play important roles in spreading seeds. 


A Seed is Sleepy by Dianna Hutts Aston

Author Dianna Hutts Aston and illustrator Sylvia Long are a dynamic team, and their series of nature books are an essential addition to any collection. A Seed Is Sleepy is no exception- the beautiful illustrations are accompanied by detailed informative text explaining the many surprising attributes of a seed.

Don’t miss our Q&A with author Dianna Hutts Aston.


A Fruit is a Suitcase for Seeds by Jean Richards

The silly title of this book makes it an instant hit amongst little ones, who will delight in pointing out all the "suitcases" they like to eat. The analogy at the core of the book - that fruits offer a protective case for seeds as they travel - is perfect for helping young learners understand a key botany concept. This book can be paired nicely with a fruit dissection activity. 


Flowers are Calling by Rita Gray

With poetic text and eye-catching illustrations, this book is a wonderful introduction to the role of flowers and the diverse array of pollinators that visit them. I find this book to be an excellent bridge from plant study into an exploration of insects and/or pollinators. 


The Reason for a Flower by Ruth Heller

The vivid illustrations and singsongy text of this book, featured in the Wonderkin Botany Box, make it appealing to even very young readers, and there's plenty of interesting factual information to keep older learners engaged as well. 


Sunflower House by Eve Bunting

This charming story is a perennial favorite, and is perfect for teaching about the life cycle of a plant. You may even feel inspired to plant a "sunflower house' of your own!


Enjoyed this post? You're in luck!  I’ll be sharing monthly round-ups of high-quality picture books to support nature-based early childhood learning all year long. Be sure to sign up for our newsletter to ensure you never miss out on new content.