Waiting for Wings by Lois Ehlert

, ,

Today we celebrate Butterfly Day, a time to go out and gaze at some of nature’s most beautiful creatures. They lift their wings and our spirits. My favorite butterfly book since 2001 has been Lois Ehlert’s Waiting for Wings, an oversized volume that highlights butterflies and the plants that sustain them. Lois Ehlert always knew […]

Animals, Gardening, Insects, Science, Zoology
Featured on June 19

Green by Laura Vaccaro Seeger


April has been designated School Library Media Month and Gardening Month. Since both causes are dear to my heart, I set aside this day early in April to celebrate both so that the party can continue through the rest of April. I believe that school libraries, or media centers, have done more to help children […]

Ecology, Gardening, Nature, Spring
Featured on April 4

Grandpa Green by Lane Smith

, ,

Since 1978 the first Sunday after Labor Day has been celebrated as National Grandparents Day to encourage grandchildren to tap into the wisdom and heritage of their grandparents. Encapsulating both the spirit and the intent of this holiday, our book-of-the-day is Grandpa Green by Lane Smith. As editor of The Horn Book Magazine I watched the […]

Art, Gardening, Imagination
Featured on September 11

Rah, Rah, Radishes! by April Pulley Sayre

, ,

Toward the end of August, those of us with vegetable gardens find ourselves with an abundance of crops—and those who don’t grow their own vegetables can delight in all of the produce available at local Farmers’ Markets. August has been designated Celery, Fennel and Cactus Month along with Mushroom and Onion Month. But for me […]

Food, Gardening
Featured on August 29

Tom’s Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce

, ,

Memorial Day weekend marks the beginning of summer. For children summer often means more unstructured time when they can enjoy their own activities. The hero of our book of the day, Philippa Pearce’s Tom’s Midnight Garden,  Tom Long has been looking forward to his summer idyll with his brother, Peter. But Peter comes down with […]

Adventure, Gardening, Ghosts, History, Time Travel
Featured on May 30

The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss
Illustrated by Crockett Johnson

, ,

In May of 1945—around the time of Victory in Europe Day in World War II—a small book appeared on the list of Harper and Brothers. A quirky, offbeat title, it was not advertised that year and did not seem a likely candidate for celebrity status in the picture book world. But when it comes to […]

Family, Gardening
Featured on May 17

Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney


Starting tomorrow, we celebrate National Wildflower Week (May 6-12th), created by the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, to “encourage the observations, cultivations and study of native wildflowers.” Today’s book, Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney, completely embodies the spirit of this week. In this story a spinster librarian travels around the world and eventually returns to […]

20th Century, Gardening, History, Nature
Featured on May 5

The Gardener by Sarah Stewart
Illustrated by David Small


April has been designated National Gardening Month. The mere idea of gardening brings me joy. As I write the first draft of this essay in February, two feet of snow sit outside the window. Will I ever see my gardens again? Gardening month reminds me of that desperate plea from Mary Lennox in The Secret […]

Award Winning, Caldecott, Family, Gardening, Great Depression, History
Featured on April 19

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett


On October 29, 1924, England and America’s bestselling children’s book writer died in New York. After leaving her native land, she lived for years in the United States, and a New York Times obituary mourned the passing of this beloved figure. She was, by way of an easy comparison, the J.K. Rowling of her day; […]

Gardening, Magic
Featured on October 29

Daily children’s book recommendations and events from Anita Silvey.

Discover the stories behind the children’s book classics . . .

The new books on their way to becoming classics . . .

And events from the world of children’s books—and the world at large.