As I begin to think about our family garden this season, I decided to buy Growing Vegetable Soup for my kids to get them into the spirit of garden planning. I love Lois Elhert's bold and bright illustrations in Planting a Rainbow and Eating the Alphabet, so I hoped this book would live up to my high expectations. The book follows the basic growing process from seed to table, including garden tools, planting seeds and sprouts, watering, weeding, harvesting, and eating what you've grown. I love that she shows how different vegetables have different looking seeds, too.
This book is a great gardening primer for preschool and elementary age children, and has the added bonus of wonderful abstract art to accompany it. My children enjoyed reviewing the process and it gave us a great opportunity to talk about what we planted last year, successes and "failures", and what we want to plant and do differently this year. Like most gardeners, their garden wish list is HUGE, so this is a good time to try and narrow down our favorites. Give them a seed catalog if you have some extras and let them circle their favorites. It's a good way to keep them involved in the process and I find they take a little more ownership of the garden when they think it's "their" plants. Let me know what gets your kids excited about gardening.