Favorite Children's Books from the Farm Educators' Collection

Over the years, the educators here on the Farm have curated a collection of go-to books to share with the kids and families who visit the campus. Sometimes a book will help students understand a complex problem more clearly, set the stage for exploring new ideas, or raise questions about the world around them. Since 1967, April 2nd (Hans Christian Andersen’s birthday) has marked International Children’s Book Day. We’re celebrating with a few of the Farm’s favorites.

Westlandia by Paul Fleischman, Illustrated by Kevin Hawkes

Westlandia nicely demonstrates connections between plants and the things we use everyday, including the ties to food and fiber, which is perfect for the Farm. It also has a subplot about inclusion, leadership, and developing self-confidence!

- Kerri McAllister, Program Manager & Place-Based Educator

Before We Eat by Pat Brisson, Illustrated by Mary Azarian

I love the variety of farmers and farm products included in this book. It shows the full food story of how crops start from farms,  make their way to grocery stores, and finally arrive at our homes to be made into the food that fills our plates and bellies.

- Jed Norris, Early Childhood Program Coordinator

Diary Of A Worm by Doreen Cronin

As the Family Program Coordinator, I’m always interested in developing programming that is engaging for both young children and their accompanying adults.  Diary Of A Worm is a great example of a book that does just that: it combines entertaining and educational subject matter with humor that makes both adult and child laugh out loud! 

- Cat Wright, Family Program Coordinator & Farm-Based Educator

Some Bugs by Andrea Diterlizzi, Illustrated by Brendan Wenzel

This book covers an amazing diversity of bugs and highlights their differences. Some Bugs makes every species look fun and exciting,  leaving you wanting to get down on the ground and find the bugs in your own backyard.

- Jed Norris, Early Childhood Program Coordinator

Good Bread: A Book of Thanks by Brigitte Weninger & Anne Möller

I like to read this book while the preschool Adventures group [link] is eating the bread they’ve made from scratch and giving thanks for our food. After mixing the ingredients, kneading the dough, and baking the bread, we wrap the warm loaf in a towel and bring it outside on our adventure to enjoy together, either by the field of wheat in the summer or in the forest on a cool day. Good Bread is the perfect story to read after we’ve dissected wheat plants to look for seeds, ground wheatberries into flour, made the butter to spread on top of our bread, and are enjoying the fruits of our labor.

Christine Lutters, Assistant Summer Camp Director, Early Childhood Program Educator

What Do You Do with an Idea? by Kobi Yamada, Illustrated by Mae Besom

I really enjoy the internal struggle and emotions that go along with having an idea a bit out of the norm that you want to share with others. This is truly a great book for both adults and children.

Jed Norris, Early Childhood Program Coordinator

Charlie Needs a Cloak by Tomie dePaola

This book feels most fitting this season since we’re getting ready to start our “Spring on the Farm” programs, which include an activity called “Sheep to Mitten.” The activity shows the process of how a sheep’s wool is spun into yarn to make clothing (and we visit the sheep!).  The book ties in perfectly because it adorably chronicles how Charlie goes through the process of making a new cloak to replace his old tattered one.

Courtney Mulcahy, School Programs Coordinator

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