The Wild Garden -- New Picture Book Perfect for Earth Day Everyday!


Disclosure: I was sent a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Earth Day is this week! I wanted to share a book with you that screams Earth Day to me. Sadly, the book is not being released until May in the US, but it is the perfect book to talk about some of the Earth Day issues. The book is The Wild Garden by Cynthia Cliff. It is recommended for ages 5 to 9. I am also sharing a round-up of gardening crafts, activities, and recipes for kids.

From the Publisher:

Filled with charmingly rustic illustrations of people, plants and animals, this story about community and biodiversity introduces children to the variety of ways things can grow and flourish in nature.

In the village of Mirren, a tidy community garden is carefully organized and tended by the townspeople. On the other side of the garden wall is a wild patch of land— a jumble of trees, a pond, and tall grassy places. While the garden is cared for in different ways throughout the seasons, Jilly and her grandfather like to visit the wild place, foraging for mushrooms, asparagus, and nuts, and watching the insects, birds and other animals. When the townspeople decide they need a bigger garden, they make plans to expand beyond the wall into the wild place. Worried about what will happen to their special piece of nature, Jilly and her grandfather come up with a plan, inviting the townspeople to discover a new kind of gardening. Their plan works and the wild place and the community garden merge harmoniously; the bees pollinate the crops, berry bushes take over a garden corner, pumpkins grow along the pond, and delicious herbs appear among the ferns. Cynthia Cliff’s lovingly detailed illustrations reveal the joys of every kind of garden, while her story offers endless opportunities to talk about healthy eating, nature, ecological gardening, and friendship.

From Me:

This book takes a look at the community garden as well as the environment beyond the community garden through all the seasons. I love that its message is about not expanding the planned community garden because it will take away the needed wild plants that the wildlife needs. It is such an important message and to me speaks loudly of what Earth Day is about. We need to stop taking away from nature and learn to live with nature. It has the young Jilly with her grandfather who explore the nature beyond the confines of the town and its community garden. When the town wants to expand they show the people what the expansion will do in a way that the rest of the town sees the excitement and wonder of the nature around them. Imagine if everyone learned to live with the nature as it is and help the wildlife instead of taking their space and needed ecosystems?

I love how the book shows diverse people working in the gardens as well as the hard work gardening can be. It then shows what is happening at the same time with various wildlife. 

This book shares the connection we have to nature. It is an important lesson for all to learn and it also shows that humans can coincide and respect nature. It is a sweet book that is perfect for pursuing the topics of Earth Day. Even though it is coming out in May, it is a book we all should read!

Gardening for Kids Round-Up

To go with this book I thought I would share some gardening with kids ideas. I have broken them into several different categories: Gardening with Kids (or getting the kids in the garden), Gardening Science (plant science experiments), Recycled Gardening (using recycled or upcycled materials to help you garden or compost), and Beyond the Garden (ideas to connect with nature, wildlife, etc. or the wild garden).

1) Tips for Gardening with Kids from Mama Smiles

2) Fairy Gardens -- let their imaginations fly by building fairy houses and fairy scenes

3) Growing Celery from Scraps from Kelly's Classroom Online

4) Growing Radishes from Scraps from Kelly's Classroom Online

5) Gardening with Emma -- a gardening book for kids written by a kid

6) How to Plant a Container Garden with Kids from Mama Smiles

7) Sunflower House -- create a magical sunflower house for kids to play (see garden diary for even more information)

8) Garden Diary -- keep a diary to plan what you want to plant and what you have planted

9) Kids' Vegetable Garden from Little Sprouts Learning

10) The Little Gardner -- a book about gardening with kids

11) Plant a meadow garden rows and neatness don't matter, and it attracts butterflies, bees and more!

12) Teach to care for garden

13) Teach how to plant (bulbs)

14) Growing Sunflowers in Containers from Growing Family

15) Teaching How to Sow Seeds from Growing Family

16) Kids' Sensory Garden from Mommy Evolution

17) (Not Pictured) Grow Your Own Salad with Kids from Growing Family

1) Learning about Seed Growth

2) Easy and Fun Garden Experiment for Preschool from From Engineer to Stay at Home Mom

3) Birdseed Experiment from Kelly's Classroom Online

4) The Garden Classroom --book full of activities to teach and play in the garden

5) My First Book About Backyard Nature -- coloring book full of facts and information about everything in your backyard

6) Plants and Sunlight from Mama Smiles

7) Growing Requirements of Plants Experiment

1) DIY Soda Bottle Terrarium from Team Cartwright

2) TP Roll Seed Starters from Thrifty Jinxy

3) Recycling plastic containers for starting seeds

4) Upcycled Garden Ideas from Red Ted Art

5) Worm Composting    

6) Recycled Container Garden from Mama Smiles

7) Bug Hotel from Red Ted Art

8) Sock and Tin Can Planter from Thrifty Jinxy

9) Lemon Seed Starter Kit from 24 Hour Family

10) Grass Heads from Red Ted Art

11) Recycled Seed Planters from From Engineer to Stay at Home Mom

12) DIY Cardboard Flower Press

1) Dandelion Fun Facts

2) Connecting with nature--feeding chickadees

3) Garden Scavenger Hunt from Homeschool of 1

4) Reasons to love weeds

5) Making garden vegetable soup

6) Garden Sensory Bin from Parenting Chaos

7) Enjoying the quiet in the garden as well as the beauty

8) What's in the Backyard Series Look for the nature in your backyard!

9) Pressed Flower Vases/Pencil Holders

10) Rainbow Scavenger Hunt -- Flowers