Fun Gardening Book and Craft


My picture book pick for today is UP IN THE GARDEN AND DOWN IN THE DIRT, the follow up to OVER AND UNDER THE SNOW by the author/illustrator team of Kate Messner and Christopher Silas Neal. My kids and I really enjoyed OVER AND UNDER THE SNOW and have had it out of the library several times so we were excited to discover this book; especially since we started our own garden a couple weekends ago. So far we planted multi-color peppers, basil, chamomile, and a three sisters garden which consists of corn, beans, and squash.

UP IN THE GARDEN AND DOWN IN THE DIRT spans a year of seasons and garden activity beginning with with snow still on the ground and a young girl and her grandmother’s planting plans. As the weather gets warmer they clear away debris and plant seeds. The summer passes, the seeds grow into plants, and insects and animals both above and below the ground have a role to play. As the weather turns cool again and the harvest is complete, the insects make their way underground where nature already has ideas for next year’s garden! At the end of this book there is an author’s note about organic gardening, a short list of further reading, and a section about all the non-human gardeners involved in the story.

Just like my pick last month, this beautifully written and illustrated picture book has a lot to teach!

Sample pages…

up in the garden2 up in the gardern1

This is a great book to read if you are also planning and planting a garden but if you are impatiently waiting for it to grow, why not pass the time by creating some garden art.

Garden Craft for Kids

I made some greeting cards with construction paper to give to some special kids I know who have worked really hard all year in school. I made five cards for graduates all with different vegetables growing in raised beds. As you can see I included many of the things needed both above and below the ground like the sun, a rain cloud, and a worm to aerate and fertilize the soil. You could also included insects like ladybugs that eat garden pests and pollinators like bees. I also wrote pun messages to go with each plant. They are as follows if you would like to use them too…

  • You squashed the competition!
  • Time to pepper you with praise!
  • Just a corny congratulations!
  • Rooting for you, congrats!
  • Lettuce Celebrate!

And here is a printable envelope template perfectly sized for 4 X 6 inch cards. Print the following PDF: Printable Envelope Pattern on heavy weight construction paper (cut to 8.5 X 11 inches) then cut, fold, and glue.

Are you planting a garden this year? Please share!

I have discovered some great picture books thanks to the recommendations of my fellow Picture Book of the Day bloggers. Follow along by liking Doodles and Jots on Facebook!


I'm a practical mom inspired by nature & I enjoy sharing ideas that encourage kids' innate curiosity & creativity. Interested in subscribing? Check out the blue box at the top of my sidebar. I'm also a wannabe author/illustrator & product designer by day. Let's connect! If you purchase through my Amazon links I get a small commission at no additional cost to you (thanks for supporting Doodles and Jots)! And remember to always credit your source here & elsewhere on the internet.


    • Fantastic! Some of our plants are doing well and others less so but we are determined to keep at it :-)

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