Sunflower Project




Fleischman, Paul. Seed Folks, illus. Judy Pederson. HarperCollins, 1997.
A young Vietnamese girl plants some beans in a vacant lot. Gradually others of different ages and nationalities follow her lead and begin to know each other in the process of creating a community garden. Gr. 3-6

Bauer, Joan. Squashed. Delacorte Press, 1992.
A sixteen-year-old pursues her goal--growing the biggest pumpkin in Iowa--with the help of a new-found friend.


Bjork, Christina. Linnea in Monet's Garden, illus. Lena Anderson. R&S Books, 1987.
Linnea has seen Monet's paintings of his garden in books, but now she gets to see the real paintings in Paris and the real garden. Her joyful travel diary lets us share the trip. 2nd-5th.

Bond, Ruskin. Cherry Tree, illus. Allan Eitzen. Caroline House, 1991.
In the Himalayan foothills, not many fruit trees grow. A little girl plants a cherry pit and cares for the tree as they both grow. 1st-3rd.

Bunting, Eve. Sunflower House, illus. Kathryn Hewitt. Harcourt, 1996.
A young boy creates a summer playhouse by planting sunflowers. ps-3.

Cooney, Barbara. Miss Rumphius. Viking, 1982.
Great-aunt Alice was once a little girl who wanted to travel the world and then live by the sea, as her grandfather had. But there was one more thing she had to do. “What is that?” Alice asked her grandfather. “You must do something to make the world more beautiful,” he told her. 1st-4th.

de Paola, Tomie, reteller. The Legend of Bluebonnet. Putnams's, 1983.
The Great Spirits tells the Comanche People to sacrifice their most precious possession to end a drought that had killed many, including the parents of one little girl. When the little girl sacrifices a doll made for her by her mother, the Spirits cover the hillsides with bluebonnets and end the drought. Texas legend. 1st-4th.

Ikeda, Daisaku. The Cherry Tree, illus. Brian Wildsmith. English version by Geraldine McCaughrean. Knopf, 1991.
The old cherry tree hasn't bloomed all through the war. Afterwards, with the help of an old man and two children, it does. 1st-4th.

Morgan, Pierr. The Turnip: An Old Russian Folktale. Philomel, 1990.
The turnip is so enormous that it takes the family and the animals to pull it up.

Steptoe, John. Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters. Lothrop, 1987.
A snake is well treated by a young African woman who knows he is good for her garden. He turns out to be a handsome prince. 1st-4th.

Stevens, Janet. Tops and bottoms, adapted and illus. by Janet Stevens. Harcourt Brace, c1995.
This Caldecott Honor Book features Bear and Rabbit in a story similar to Jackal and Hedgehog, (which is out of print). Rabbit tricks Bear out of the harvest.

Stewart, Dianne. Gift of the Sun: A tale from South Africa, illus. Jude Daly. Farrar, Straus, 1996.
A farmer sells the cow he is tired of milking, but he gets tired of each thing he buys until he brings home sunflower seeds, plants them, and finds his true vocation. k-4

Stewart, Sarah. The Gardener; pictures by David Small. Farrar Straus Giroux, 1997.
A series of letters relates what happens when, after her father loses his job, Lydia Grace goes to live with her Uncle Jim in the city but takes her love for gardening with her.

Williams, Vera B. Cherries and Cherry Pits. Greenwillow, 1986.
An African American girl tells stories about the pictures she draws: cherries, cherry pits, and more and more cherry trees. k-3rd.


“The Garden” in Frog and Toad Together by Arnold Lobel. Harper & Row, 1972.
Toad canšt wait for his garden to come up.

“The Rice-Puller of Chaohwa” from The Tiger's Whisker and Other Tales from Asia and the Pacific by Harold Courlander. Harcourt, 1959.
A farmer ruins his crop by impatience. K-up.

“Three Rosebushes” from Stories to Solve: Folktales from Around the World by George Shannon. Greenwillow Books. 1985. Also “Which Flower?”
Stories are presented as riddles for the audience to solve. 2nd-up.


Caduto, Michael J. and Joseph Bruchac. Keepers Of Life : Discovering Plants Through Native American Stories And Earth Activities For Children. Fulcrum Pub., c1994.

Brody, Ed, Jay Goldspinner, Katie Green, Rona Leventhal, and John Porcino of Stories for World Change Network. Spinning Tales, Weaving Hope: Stories of Peace, Justice & the Environment. New Society, 1992. “The Turnip” and others.

Earth care: world folktales to talk about / [compiled] by Margaret Read MacDonald. Linnet Books, 1999.
A collection of traditional tales and proverbs from over twenty countries or ethnic groups, touching upon both human and ecological themes such as environmental protection, the care of other creatures, and the connection of all things in nature.

Fleischman, Paul. Seed Folks, illus. Judy Pederson. HarperCollins, 1997.
A young Vietnamese girl plants some beans in a vacant lot. Gradually others of different ages and nationalities follow her lead and begin to know each other in the process of creating a community garden. 3rd-6th.

Pellowski, Anne. Hidden Stories in Plants: Unusual and Easy-to-Tell Stories from Around the World together with Creative Things to Do While Telling Them. Illus. Lynn Sweat. Out of print but worth looking for; many libraries have it.


Flores, Barbara. The Great Sunflower Book. Ten Speed Press, 1997.
This was written for adults, but it has lots of photographs of sunflower varieties, a good history, and, among the many recipes, a kid-friendly no-cook "Sunny Fudge" recipe involving peanut butter, honey, powdered milk, raisins and sunflower seeds.

King, Elizabeth. Backyard Sunflower. Dutton, 1993.
Photographs show the life cycle of Samantha's sunflower. ps-3


Berman, Marcia and Patty Zeitlin. Spin, Spider, Spin. Marcia Berman and Patty Zeitlin. Educational Activities. Friendly songs about snakes, bugs, etc.

Miché, Mary. Earthy Tunes. Song Trek, 2600 Hillegass, Berkeley, CA 94704.
Includes Animal Party; Spiders and Snakes; Banana Slug Song; You Can't Make a Turtle Come Out; Little Skunk; Dirt Made My Lunch; The Garden Song; Six Plant Parts; The Sprout Song; Move Over, You Big Trees; Bugs in Your Bark; Lotta Seeds Grow. Ecology songs from The Banana Slug String Band, Malvina Reynolds, others.

Raven, Nancy. The house we live in. Volume II. Pacific Cascade Records.
In “La Bella Hortelana” the beautiful farmer plants and harvests corn and makes tortillas.

Van Zandt, Steve. Dirt Made My Lunch. Banana Slug String Band, P. O. Box 2262, Santa Cruz, CA 95063.
Steve and the Banana Slug String Band have several upbeat tapes of goofy but educational songs about plant parts, natural cycles, solar energy, etc.