Picture Book Pair for a Fun Fall Story Time

by Rebecca J. Gomez Pairing two or more picture books with similar themes can open up a world of discussion possibilities, and those discussions are great ways to connect with your children or students. It can be fascinating to see how different authors and illustrators approach different topics and themes. Pairing books with similar themes during story time will help children learn that everyone sees the world a little differently, and it's good to see other people's perspectives. Read : Leaves by David Ezra Stein and The Leaf Thief by Alice Hemming, illustrated by Nicola Slater Discuss :  What is the main theme in each of these stories? How are these two books different? How are they similar? What were Bear and Squirrel both confused about?  Have you ever been confused or curious about something in nature? Talk about it! What is fall like where you live? Do you see leaves changing, then falling from the trees?  What other books about fall or leaves have you read? Are any of

Read, Discuss, Do Book List: 12 Picture Books about Gardens




Gardens can be so many things. A pot of flowers on a front step, a manicured flower bed in a city park, even a stretch of wild prairie! These books explore gardens in all their forms, inviting readers to got out and get involved in nurturing their own little piece of nature.

I hope this list of 12 garden books inspires you to not only talk about gardens and nature with your kiddos, but also to get out and explore some gardens with them, and maybe even plant a little (or big) garden of your own. All it takes to get started is a pot, some soil, and a seed!

Ideas for things to DISCUSS: 
  • Talk about what makes a garden. Can a garden be a wild place or does it need to be more cultivated? 
  • Do you have favorite gardens you've visited? 
  • What kinds of things can you grow in a garden?
Ideas for things to DO:
  • Plan a garden of your own.
  • Plant some flower seeds in a pot.
  • Grow herbs in your kitchen.
  • Visit a botanical garden or park with flower beds.
  • If you have your own garden, tend it together.
And now, for the list!

Badger's Perfect Garden by Marsha Diane Arnold, illustrated by Ramona Kaulitzki

A story about gardening, friendship, and unexpected results. Use this book as inspiration to plant your own perfect (or perfectly imperfect) garden.



Anywhere Farm by Phyllis Root, illustrated by G. Brian Karas

This book shows readers--in bouncy, lilting rhyme--that gardening can happen anywhere. In an old pot or an empty lot! Let this book inspire you to grow your own "anywhere farm" whether you have room for one pot on the front step or a back yard of your own!



The Gardener by Sarah Stewart, illustrated by David Small

Another beauty that shows gardening can happen anywhere, even in a city full of concrete!


Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt by Kate Messner, illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal

There's a lot going on in the garden all year long, both above and below ground. Perhaps this book will inspire you to take a closer look at what's happening in the garden, whether in your own back yard or at a local park.



The Curious Garden by Peter Brown

Nature sprouts up in abandoned human places, inspiring a young gardener to learn and grow along with this "curious garden." This book might inspire you to look for places where curious gardens are trying to grow. The cracks in a city street? Inside an old, abandoned car? An empty lot that's overgrown with weeds and wildflower?



Florette by Anna Walker

Another gorgeous book about bringing a garden to the city.



My Busy Green Garden by Terry Pierce, illustrated by Carol Schwartz

What kinds of busy birds and bugs can you spot in a garden near you? Even a simple patch of grass has a lot of life buzzing in it. Look closely!



Mortimer's First Garden by Karma Wilson, illustrated by Dan Andreason

Let this sweet little book inspire you to plant a seed and watch it grow!



We are the Gardeners by Joanna Gaines, illustrated by Julianna Swaney

A story about a family's journey to becoming gardeners, and all the ups and downs that came with it. Maybe this book will encourage you to learn and grow with gardening in your own way!



Dig In! by Cindy Jenson-Elliott, illustrated by Mary Peterson

A simple and bold book for the littlest gardeners that will encourage them to dig in the dirt. What will they discover? There are lots of things to discover when planting a garden!



Green Green: A Community Gardening Story by Marie Lamba and Baldev Lamba, illustrated by Sonia S├ínchez.

A rhythmic story about bringing green to the city, with lots of helpful information in the back about how to make your own community more green as well as ways to support pollinators.



The Magic Garden by Lemniscates

A beautiful book that encourages readers to go out and experience the magical wonders that a garden can bring to light. This book includes extensive back matter for the curious reader!

Comments