During our vegetable theme we had the chance to read so many great books about vegetables. Below are some of our favorites. The list includes both fiction and nonfiction.
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Vegetables is a simple nonfiction text that is great for young kids. It tells basic facts about vegetables like where they grow and some of their main characteristics. The book also describes some of the benefits of certain vegetables. This book inspired us to sort our vegetables by color.
Vegetable Group is another nonfiction text. We liked the part that describes which part of the plant each vegetable is from. The kids were surprised to learn that they eat roots, flowers, and stems. They were also interested to see some of the foods that can have vegetables in them.
Rah, Rah, Radishes!: A Vegetable Chant was one of my favoritnes in this collection. I usually love any book that encourages kids’ participation and incorporates some phonemic awareness practice in a fun way. From the very beginning the kids joined right in chanting along with this book. It includes a many different kinds of vegetables, so we also of had the chance to talk about a lot of varieties. The photographs are vivid and offer kids a great visual. We read this book many times throughout the week. Some days we reread to identify the rhyming words. Other days we clapped the syllables in each vegetable name.
In Tops & Bottoms one clever hare with a family to feed outsmarts a lazy bear with a lot of land. This book is helpful for teaching kids about positional language and the parts of vegetable plants. It’s always interesting to discuss whether kids think it was fair for Hare to trick Bear.
Potato Joe is a simple text with rhyming words and a bouncing rhythm. It incorporates counting forward and backward from 10.
I Like Vegetables is a board book with different textures to feel. Young readers can learn vegetable names,opposites, and colors with this book.
In The Enormous Potato Farmer planted a potato eye and it and grew and grew until it was too big to pull. Farmer calls family and pets one by one to help pull the potato out. The kids loved joining in to call the next character to come help. This book is a variation of the Russian traditional folktale.
Little Pea had my kids roaring with laughter. Little Pea has a dilemma. He has to eat all his candy or he doesn’t get any vegetables for dessert! I am lucky enough to have veggie lovers in the house, but they could still appreciate the silliness of this cute story.
The Little Pea is about a little pea who isn’t happy being a little pea like all of the others. In the same style as The Mixed-up Chameleon Little Pea encounters others who he would like to be more like, and he slowly inherits new characteristics. All of the other peas laugh at him when returns home to bury himself in preparation for winter. After almost a year passes, a little surprise sprouts out of the ground.
1-2-3 Peas is the counting companion to LMNO Peas. It includes both numbers and number words. In the story kids practice counting by 1s to 20 then by 10s to 100. The little ones here had fun chanting along with the repeated words and acting out the motions they could. They also loved finding all of the peas in the book and talking about what they were doing.
In LMNO Peas kids get to know the alphabet peas from A to Z. For each letter of the alphabet we meet peas with different occupations. I like that each letter includes multiple words…A is for acrobats, artists, and astronauts.
In The Talking Vegetables everyone in the village is helping plant a farm…everyone except spider. He says he has rice and doesn’t need vegetables. Then one day he’s bored with just plain rice and he heads to the farm to pick some of the vegetables all the other villagers worked so hard to grow. Imagine his surprise when the vegetables have something to say about that!
Just Enough Carrots is part of the Math Starts series by Stuart Murphy. This story helps kids practice comparing amounts. We used objects to act out the story and model the vocabulary: more, same, and fewer.
In Carrot Soup Rabbit has been growing carrots patiently waiting to make carrot soup. Finally the day to harvest comes but Rabbit’s carrots have disappeared. Lovey enjoyed finding the clues in each picture to help solve the mystery of Rabbit’s missing carrots.
The Giant Carrot is another variation of the Russian traditional folktale. This version is set in Texas and comes with a recipe for “carrot puddin” that we’re eager to try.
In The Ugly Vegetables a little girl helps her mother plant a garden in spring. Soon she realizes that all her neighbors are planting beautiful flower gardens, and she is disappointed that her garden is not as beautiful. But when its time to harvest the vegetables her mother has a surprise. Soon all of her neighbors are coming to share their flowers and enjoy the wonderful soup her mother made. The end of the book includes a description of chinese vegetables and the recipe for “ugly vegetable soup.”
In Sylvia’s Spinach Sylvia does not like spinach..AT ALL. When she is given a pack of spinach seeds to grow as part of her class gardening project she tries very hard to trade with one of her classmates. But nobody else wants her spinach either. So Sylvia is left to grow her spinach and along the way she starts to like the plant a bit. You won’t be surprised to know that by the end of the story Sylvia is eating all kinds of foods with spinach in them.
Soup Day is a terrific book that follows a little girl and her mother as they go through the steps of making soup on a cold winter day. They start by picking out the vegetables at the store. Then they prepare all of the vegetables and make the soup together. My daughters love to help in the kitchen so they were instantly drawn to this book. We spent a day making soup just like they did in this book, and we all loved it!
Muncha! Muncha! Muncha! is a funny story about a man who finally decides to plant his own garden. But three bunnies are equally excited about his garden, and they are nibbling all of his vegetables. Throughout the story Mr. McGreely tries a variety of ways to keep the bunnies out of his garden, but none of them really work. My kids thought all of the ways were quite funny, and every time the bunnies outsmarted Mr. McGreely the kids just laughed and laughed. Each new challenge gave us a good chance to make predictions and discuss what the kids thought Mr. McGreely should do next. They also loved joining in to chant the repeated parts of the story, especially “Munch! Muncha! Muncha!…my daughter repeats that every time we check our carrot plants now.
Gigantic Turnip is another version of the popular Russian folktale. Here the farmer enlists the help of various animals to help him free his giant turnip. It’s a cumulative read aloud that can be used to discuss counting and the idea that every little bit of help counts.
The Giant Cabbage: An Alaska Folktale is yet another twist on the traditional Russian folktale. This time the main character is Moose, and he’s trying to get his giant cabbage to the Alaska State Fair. Along the way kids learn a little about Alaska through the beautiful illustrations and wildlife.
A Few Bites is a story for picky eaters and those who try to feed them. When Ferdie doesn’t want to eat the broccoli and carrots on his plate for lunch, his sister uses a bit of imagination to get him interested in eating them. This book is full of imagination and is great for young adventurers as it includes dinosaurs who needed broccoli to escape predators, aliens who need carrots (Orange Power Sticks) for super vision, and more.
In Growing Vegetable Soup kids follow along with the planting and care of a vegetable garden. They see the hard work that goes into truly creating their own vegetable soup. This book also includes a tasty recipe to try cooking together.
What are some of your favorite books about vegetables? Did I forget any must-reads?
Next week we’ll finish up our V is for Vegetables theme with a collection of the many wonderful vegetable activities around the web.
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Save time and get right to the playful learning with our printable lesson plan sets. Each set includes over 30 playful learning activities related to the theme, and we’ve provided different versions for home preschool families and classroom teachers so all activities are geared directly toward your needs.
This set includes active hands-on learning ideas and the following printables:
1) Vegetable Emergent Reader (2 versions)
2) Syllable Sorting Activity
3) Vegetable Photos (color and B/W)
4) Vegetable Letter Puzzles (color and B/W)
5) Vegetable Stand Pretend Play Signs
6) Vegetable Number Cards (Color and B/W)
7) Shopping for Vegetables Counting Game
8) Vegetable Cards with and without labels (color and B/W)
9) Vegetable Sink or Float Predictions and Results Recording Sheets (color and B/W)
10) Vegetable Taste Test Recording Sheets (color and B/W)
11) Design a Vegetable Garden Planning Sheet (2 versions)
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