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14 Favorite Farming Books for Kids

Whether inspired by a sunny spring day or dreaming of when warmer weather arrives, it’s always a good time to read with your children about planting, gardening, and farming.  Check out these great books your kids will enjoy:

Farm Boots by Lisl Detlefsen (ISBN: 9781948898119). Released by Feeding Minds Press on March 21, 2023, this book takes a whimsical look at all sorts of footwear used on the farm. A perfect read-aloud.

Farming by Gail Gibbons (ISBN: 9780823406821). This book highlights simply and accurately all the work done on a farm throughout different seasons. Gibbons is an Illinois author!

Right This Very Minute by Lisl Detlefsen (ISBN: 9781948898003). All our food comes from farming and gardening. Are you hungry right now? Take a look at what is going on right this very minute to produce and transport your food.

Seed, Soil, Sun: Earth’s Recipe for Food by Cris Peterson (ISBN: 9781590789476). Nature creates our food with these three simple ingredients. Learn more about your food with this wonderful photo journal of our food.

A Seed is Sleepy by Dianna Aston (ISBN: 9781590789476). This is an excellent introduction to seeds, perfect as a read aloud.

Jump Into Science: Dirt by Steve Tomecek (ISBN: 9781426323621). Answers to the questions “what is soil?” or “what lives in the dirt?” or “how does the earth help things grow?” can all be found in this National Geographic Children’s Book.

Tops & Bottoms by Janet Stevens (ISBN 9781426323621). You can’t go wrong with this Caldecott Honor Book exploring how we eat different parts of plants. Dinner table conversation won’t be the same after this book.

Buzzy Bee Book for Kids by Alice McGinty (ISBN 9781638074519). Bees and pollinators play a critical role in food production. Enjoy this book for children aged 3-5 as they discover what goes on with plants, flowers, and pollinators. McGinty is an Illinois author!

Honeybee: A Day in the Life of Apis Mellifera by Candace Fleming (ISBN: 9780823442850). The life of a honeybee is explored in this beautifully illustrated book. Candace Fleming and Illustrator Eric Rohmann are both from Illinois.

A Weed is a Flower: The Life of George Washington Carver by Aliki (ISBN: 9780671664909). Follow the life of this innovator in agricultural science.

Buzzing with Questions: The Inquisitive Mind of Charles Henry Turner by Janice Harrington (ISBN: 978162979558). Explore the life and career of Charles Henry Turner, the first black entomologist, who had multiple connections to Illinois. Janice Harrington is an Illinois author!

How to Grow a Monster by Kiki Thorpe (ISBN: 978163592277). Selected as an American Farm Bureau Foundation Book of the Year, this book examines gardening and zucchini with outstanding STEM connections.

We Are the Gardeners by Joanna Gaines (ISBN: 9781400314225). Yes, that Joanna Gaines tells the story of growing happy successful gardens.

Farmer Will Allen and the Growing Table by Jacqueline Briggs Martin (ISBN: 9780983661535).  Former basketball star Will Allen takes on a unique challenge: life as an urban farmer.

There are a number of great resources to help prepare you and your children for a springtime of planting!  Check out for more information.

Kevin Daugherty

About Kevin

Kevin Daugherty is the Education Director for the Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom Program.

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