I mentioned back in January when I featured Snowballs as the BOTM that you could expect to see more Lois Ehlert books in the future. Well, June's BOTM brings you another wonderful Ehlert title, Growing Vegetable Soup.
From planting seeds, tubers, and starts, to harvest time and preparing a meal made with said harvest, this book gives young readers their first look at the basic "how-to's" and joys of vegetable gardening.
I thought it appropriate to feature this book now, since our vegetable garden is in full swing. I have made sure that Silas was with me for every step of the veggie growing process. He helped me plant seeds, helps water, and helps pick the greens and peas that have been ready to harvest for several weeks already (He's also very good at helping to eat them :) I have gone over the importance of respecting the plants and being "nice" to them, from making sure not to dig in or tip over pots with newly sewn seeds, to not yanking out young seedlings, to only picking harvestable items under guidance. Aside from a few minor incidences early on, he caught on and has been very good. A book like Growing Vegetable Soup really helps make tangible the concept of a seed sprouting and eventually producing something that can be eaten. Without this visual representation of what the future holds, a patch of bare dirt is just a patch of bare dirt to a two year-old, even if it has dozens of seeds buried just under the surface. With this book as a guide, even a toddler can grasp the importance of caring for something that seems at first to be devoid of life, but that with care and time will soon be teaming with it. While aimed at young children, this book was inspiring to me as well. When we received it this winter (thanks LeClairs!), and I read it to Silas for the first time, I told him, "You know what, Silas? We can do this too!"
And so, we have.