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Gardening Books - and More - for Your Little Sprouts

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By Amy Barr

Editor's note: I asked my sister, Amy, to share her recommendations for gardening books for kids here at Brunette Gardens, and to provide readers with exclusive access to books you can't get any other way. Amy's a knowledgeable, passionate independent consultant for Usborne Books & More. She gave me a couple of Usborne books for my birthday, and I was really impressed with their quality and beauty. Here's Amy to tell you more. - Lisa

Sharing the wonders of nature and a love of gardening with children is easy with Usborne Books & More. A division of Educational Development Corporation that also includes Kane Miller books, Usborne Books & More is a line of titles made available through independent consultants directly to consumers. They are not sold in stores, but through these small business owners. I am one of these small business owners. I became a consultant because I am passionate about spreading literacy to as many families as I can, but also because I truly love these books. My family are avid nature lovers, and I was looking for books that could keep my two young girls engaged and spark in them a love of nature and learning. An Usborne title Peek Inside the Garden got us started on our journey. It is now available in this boxed set with other wonderful titles of the same series. From there it was easy for us to continue building on what our girls had already learned from this first title to so many more available through Usborne Books & More. Here are just a few current titles the children in your life will grow to love.

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Usborne Baby's Very First Finger Trail Play Book - Garden. A brightly colored, high-contrast, touchy-feely book for babies. Delightful to share, this book will engage even a tiny baby's attention, and as babies grow, they will love to trace their fingers around the tactile finger trails. This series is designed to be used from birth. Babies will be mesmerized by the bright pictures and tactile trails as in this vibrant board book.

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Kane Miller, Little Nature - Grow. Peek-through holes reveal the journey from seed to plant in this lovely little board book for baby to toddler. Especially appealing to the eco-conscious buyer, this gently educational recycled book with die-cuts offers an interactive early-learning introduction to the natural world.

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Usborne Bugs Matching Games is where the 'more' in the name for this line of books comes from. With 36 colorful game cards and four boards, this matching game is an ideal way for young children to have fun while developing recognition, memory, and communication skills. The game is complemented by a beautifully-illustrated book that includes instructions and fascinating facts about each bug.

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Usborne My First Magic Painting Garden. Filled with simple yet stylish pictures designed to appeal to little children, featuring garden plants and wildlife from bumblebees to tulips to squirrels. Use the brush provided to sweep water over the designs and bring the colors to life; a laminated flap prevents water from seeping through to the pages beneath. For older children, there are more detailed painting books like Fairy Gardens, Bugs, and Butterflies!

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For all the questions that come once a child says their first word, give them this book, Lift-the-flap First Questions and Answers: How Do Flowers Grow? This stylish, highly illustrated, interactive book is perfect for sharing with young children, and it introduces science using a friendly lift-the-flap format. A great introduction to one of the fundamental themes of biology, perfect for curious young minds.

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Usborne Books & More has many titles your older child will love, like the Look Inside series, which takes up where the Peek Inside series left off. My girls will spend hours lifting the flaps and learning all they can from these books. Here is the newest title available: Look Inside the World of Bees. Why do bees have furry bodies? What happens inside a beehive? How do bees know where to find flowers? Find out all about the amazing world of bees in this illustrated flap book for young children, with a focus on why bees are so important and all the jobs they do that keep the planet healthy.

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Need more ideas for things to do while enjoying and learning about nature? This book has lots and lots of activities to do outdoors - wherever you are or whatever the weather – by the sea or on a riverbank, in the woods, in your garden, when it’s sunny or raining, or even at night. Activities include making a shelter from branches and leaves, going on a nighttime nature walk, marking out trails to follow, making your own map, exploring a rock pool, and even cooking on a campfire.

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Usborne's most popular book series is Shine-a-Light. Shine a flashlight behind the pages or hold it to the light to reveal what is hidden in and around different places and things in these books. In this title, Secrets of the Vegetable Garden, a vegetable garden grows under the sun. If you look closely between the stalks, beneath the leaves, and under the soil, you will spot the animals and plants living there and discover a small world of great surprises! You may also like Secrets of the Apple Tree, Secrets of Winter, or Secrets of Our Earth.

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As a young girl, I struggled with reading. It was hard for me and felt more a chore than an enjoyment. My own mother tried everything. She finally found a book that matched my love of gardening and was relatable to me as a young girl. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett opened a world of possibilities for me. I was hooked for life! Usborne has adapted this classic tale for young readers in their Read with Usborne series. When Mary Lennox arrives in her uncle’s gloomy house on the moors, she feels forlorn and lonely. But the house is filled with exciting secrets, and behind an old ivy-covered wall is a garden, waiting to be discovered. Read with Usborne has been developed with the help of reading experts to support and motivate children in the early stages of reading. Clear, carefully leveled text and appealing illustrations help children progress and grow in confidence.

With so many award-winning titles, kids of all ages will enjoy learning about nature and grow a love of gardening with Usborne Books & More! If you are interested in giving any of these titles to the children in your life, you can find them and many many more at my e-commerce site. I love giving recommendations! If you are not sure what to give, please contact me by email. I can also help you get many of them for free with a qualifying online book party you can host for your friends and family. Ask me how!

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Amy Barr is a homeschooling mom to two rambunctious girls, Emma and Jane. As if that weren't enough to keep her busy, she also runs not one but two small businesses: 1) day care in her own home for as many as three other children besides her own and 2) the work she does as an Usborne independent consultant. Amy lives in St. Charles, Missouri, where she and her family garden and explore nature with the Girl Scouts and on their own, taking advantage of the state's natural bounty.

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