July 2020: New Books Added to Growing Minds Library

We recently added nine new children’s storybooks to our Growing Minds farm to school lending library, along with a new resource guide for starting a school garden. All of these titles are now included in our searchable database of more than 600 children’s books, curriculum, and cookbooks. They’re also available for educators in the Asheville area to check out. Email us at growingminds@nullasapconnections.org to request to check out books.  

New Children’s Books Featuring Characters and Authors who are Black, Indigenous, or People of Color



By Julie Flett
Recommended Level: Preschool, K-2

When a young girl moves to her new home far away from the sea, she feels lonely and out of place. But soon she meets an elderly woman next door, who shares her love of nature and art. An American Indian Youth Literature Honor Title by Cree-Métis author and illustrator Julie Flett.

Kunu’s Basket: A Story from Indian Island
Written by Lee Decora Francis and illustrated by Susan Drucker
Recommended Level: K-5

Young Kunu has watched his dad and grandfather make many beautiful baskets, but when he tries to make one of his own, he discovers that it’s much more difficult than he thought. With his grandfather’s help he finally completes a fine-looking basket, learning much about patience, perseverance, and family traditions along the way.

The Thing About Bees: A Love Letter
By Shabazz Larkin
Recommended Level: Preschool, K-2

A love poem from a father to his two sons, and a tribute to the bees that pollinate the foods we love to eat. Children are introduced to different kinds of bees, “how not to get stung,” and how the things we fear are often things we don’t fully understand.

We are Grateful (Otsaliheliga)
Written by Traci Sorell and illustrated by Frané Lessac
Recommended Level: Preschool, K-2

Otsaliheliga is a Cherokee word that is used to express gratitude (oh-jah-LEE-hay-lee-gah means “we are grateful”). Author Traci Sorell, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, invites readers to journey through the year with a Cherokee family and their tribal nation as they express thanks for celebrations big and small. “As the crops mature and the sun scorches, we say otsaliheliga … as we sink our teeth into the season’s first harvest at the Green Corn Ceremony.”


New Children’s Books About Gardens and Farms



A Farmer’s Life for Me
Written by Jan Dobbins and illustrated by Laura Huliska-Bleith
Recommended Level: K-2

One, two, three it’s a farmer’s life for me! Spend a day out in the fields and find out what farmers do! You’ll also find endnotes with fascinating facts about animals and crops. Go to barefootbooks.com/farmerslife to access your audio singalong of music by The Flannery Brothers and video animation online. This book is also available in a Spanish edition entitled ¡Vivamos la Granja!

Driving My Tractor
Written by Jan Dobbins and illustrated by David Sim
Recommended Level: Preschool, Kindergarten

A great singalong, complete with a CD or access audio singalong and video animation online at barefootbooks.com/drivetractor. Learn about farming through the seasons. Sung by SteveSongs.

Old MacDonald Had a Truck
Written by Steve Goetz and illustrated by Eda Kaban
Recommended Level: Preschool, Kindergarten

Old MacDonald had a farm E-I-E-I-O. And on that farm he had a…TRUCK?! With a DIG DIG here and a SCOOP SCOOP there, this classic folk song just got revved up! Beloved construction vehicles, like the excavator, dump truck, and bulldozer, will have the vehicle-obsessed of all ages singing along!

Plants Feed Me
By Lizzy Rockwell
Recommended Level: Preschool, Kindergarten

“It’s easy to forget where everyday food comes from, but this gentle, colorful picture book explains, simply and accurately, how food gets from the garden and farm onto the dining-room tables.” -Booklist

Sheila Says We’re Weird (but we’re just green)
Written by Ruth Ann Smalley and illustrated by Jennifer Emmery
Recommended Level: K-5

Sheila thinks her next-door neighbors are weird. They hang their laundry on the line, cut their lawn with a push mower, shop at the farmers market, and heat their home with a woodstove. But are they truly weird, or do they have some good ideas? 

Recipes for a Successful School Garden: A Guide for Parents and Teachers (resource)
By Elizabeth Ebinger and Maggie Tuohy

Recipes for a Successful School Garden simplifies the process of planning and running an elementary school garden while following a year’s curriculum of a seasoned 20 year old school garden. The book highlights the successes and lessons learned and is a resource for parent volunteers and teachers looking to plan, garden, teach and cook outdoors in the garden. “School gardens are important for many reasons—instilling a love of nature, re-connecting children to the source of their food, providing a meaningful and authentic teaching tool, and awakening children to the awe and wonder that exists in a garden. This is a wonderful resource that will hopefully result in more gardens for children.” – Emily Jackson, Growing Minds

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