Eight Tips for Helping Young Readers Bloom

Spring is here, so many people are planning and prepping to work in their gardens. In many places, spring flowers are already blooming or daffodils and other spring bulbs are poking up out of the warming soil. Given the right conditions and care, gardens can be thriving, vibrant places full of life. And the same is true for young readers! So, to celebrate spring and gardens and reading, here are ten tips to help your young readers bloom and thrive, along with some garden photos for some garden inspiration. 1. Just like flowers, budding readers blossom in their own time. Encourage them, but let them grow at their own pace. 2. Gardens need the right nutrients to grow, and this can vary depending on the plant. The same is true for young readers. Fertilize young readers minds with consistent, nutrient-rich mind food. In other words, offer a variety of books! But remember, not all growing readers will respond to the same books the same way.  Cone flowers and black-eyed Susans in Rebecca'

NORTH WOODS GIRL Review and Nature Collage

North Woods Girl by Aimée M. Bissonette, illustrated by Claudia McGehee, is a story about a young girl, her relationship with her unconventional grandmother, and their adventures trekking through the north woods together. This book, with its simple but engaging text and stunning illustrations, is as lovely as it is charming. I personally related to this book because the grandmother in the story is so much like my own grandmother, who enjoyed treks through the woods around her home in Minnesota. But even readers without unconventional, woods-trekking grandmothers will appreciate this heartwarming story, and may be inspired to explore the natural world with someone they love.

Read: North Woods Girl 


  • How is the grandmother in the story different from many other grandmothers?
  • Do you live in or near the woods? If not, what kind of natural areas are near your home?
  • How many woodland critters do you recognize from the book's illustrations?
  • In the story, the grandmother loves winter. Do you enjoy winter? What is your favorite season?

Do: Take a walk through a nearby forest, park, or other nature area. While you're there, collect items to use in a nature collage. Some items you might find are:

  • small sticks and twigs
  • leaves of various shapes (avoid poison ivy and stinging nettles)
  • pebbles
  • flowers
  • snail shells 
  • bits of bark
  • acorns or other nuts
Once you've gathered your items, arrange them in a collage! A collage can be any kind of design you want, such as a repeating pattern, an animal, a plant, even a building. Arrange your collage where it will be visible to others and maybe bring a smile to their face. A sidewalk is a good spot. Even better is a grassy area near a sidewalk where your collage won't be disturbed as much by footsteps or a breeze. Be sure to take a picture of your creation when you're finished!

Collage I made from plants in my yard and garden.

Don't be sad when nature takes over and your collage gets "ruined." That's just another reason to go exploring again.


Mindy Baker said…
Fun outdoor activity! I’m going to look for this book!