Up, Down, and Around by Katherine Ayres and Nadine Bernard Westcott

One of the inevitable consequences of raising city kids is that most of them will never get the chance to visit a real farm or do any real gardening. Also, since the fresh produce that they get is bought from the markets or, more commonly, the supermarkets, it’s hard for them to reconcile the idea that fruits and vegetables don’t come in their ready-to-eat forms, but have to be harvested from plants. (Let’s not get into how we get meat on the table…) Thus, books can be a wonderful way to get kids to become more aware of the roots (pun intended) of their food.

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The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss and Crockett Johnson

The Carrot Seed is a classic book (first published in 1945!) about a boy who tries to grow a carrot by planting a seed.

Even though everyone around him tells him repeatedly that he would fail, the boy pays them no heed and continues to weed and water his little plot of land.

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Eventually, of course, his patience, perseverance and hard work are rewarded.

Thanks to the book’s very clean, simple text and artwork, even very young toddlers will be able to enjoy this timeless tale.