How Groundhog’s Garden Grew


Today I would like to share a book that I have been reading to my Kindergarten students all week. I think it is a perfect selection for Perfect Picture Book Friday sponsored by Susanna Leonard Hill!

How Groundhog’s Garden Grew

Written and illustrated by Lynne Cherry

Publisher: Blue Sky Press 2003

Audience: Ages 6-12

Themes: gardening, sharing, teaching, science

Opening: Little Groundhog was hungry.  “Beautiful! Scrumptious! Irresistible!” he exclaimed as he crept into a neighbor’s lovely vegetable garden. He was nibbling on some fresh green lettuce when Squirrel rushed down from her tree. “Little Groundhog!” Squirrel scolded. “This food does not belong to you.  If you take food that belongs to others, you will not have a friend in the world! Why don’t you plant your OWN garden?”

Little Groundhog admits that he does not know how to plant a garden, so Squirrel decides to teach Little Groundhog how to plant a fabulous garden filled with a variety of delicious vegetables. Little Groundhog learns about root crops, perreneals, vegetables that grow on vines, seedlings, and pollination. He is overjoyed as he watches his very own garden burst into life.  Squirrel even teaches Little Groundhog how to cook his vegetables, and together they host a feast for all the animals of the forest.

Curricular Link:

This website includes activities for journaling, learning vocabulary from the story, sequencing events, and writing postcards to Little Groundhog.

Why I like this book: I paired this book with a nonfiction book about gardening for my Kindergarten classes this week.  My students are learning about plants and vegetables, and they are planting a vegetable garden in our outdoor learning center.

This book is beautifullly illustrated. Lynne Cherry’s illustrations in How Groundhog’s Garden Grew are similar to those of Jan Brett’s in her many animal books. The book includes miniature pictures of vegetables and insects  around the borders of several of the pages, and each two page spread is realistically drawn with attention to every detail. 

The themes of this book also appeal to me. Squirrel teaches Little Groundhog to garden, and Little Groundhog learns how to be self-sufficient. He is so proud of himself at the end of the story, and he shares his feast with the other animals from whom he had previously been stealing vegetables. The book sends a great message to readers and it also includes a lot of gardening vocabulary.


19 responses to “How Groundhog’s Garden Grew

  1. Catherine Johnson

    As quite the non-gardener I really need to get my kids into this, so that they are! Thanks Kelly.

  2. We’re about to start getting our vegetable garden going, so this would be a great book to share with my kids (and my son is in Kindergarten!).

  3. Stacy S. Jensen

    A lovely book. Honestly, my husband could use this book as he’s trying his hand at gardening again. Perhaps this could be his inspiration.

  4. What a fun gardening story just in time for spring. We’ve been trying to sprout a few things ourselves, so we’ll have to check this one out.

  5. Another great pick! Love Jan Brett’s illustrations, so I’m sure it must be a beautiful book. I just checked out the resource link and like the author’s suggestions. Was nice to see a picture book for an older age group. Lots of books this week about nature and spring. It also carries a lovely message. I really like your classsroom activities and how you integrated the book into teaching about growing a garden. Your kids must love coming to class!

    • Thanks, Pat. I hope they do love coming-I think they do! After I read the book Friday, a little boy asked me if he could check out the book. When I gave it to him, he said, “Yes!” and jumped up and down-sooo cute!

  6. The cover illustration is beautiful and this is the perfect time of year for this book! Thank you.

  7. Love this book and as a gardner I love anything to do with planting veges and flowers. What a wonderful way to teach kids than hands on with book and practical lesson. As Pat says, the kids must love coming to class.

  8. Is Little Groundhog’s “other name” Phyllis? 😉
    The illustrations do look similar to Jan Brett’s (I really liked “The Mitten”). I like the idea of a groundhog planting a garden with the help of a squirrel! 🙂

    • Good question! 🙂 Check out the book-especially if you enjoy gardening. It is full of great tips. Lynne Cherry likes to include information in her picture books that you would find in a nonfiction book while still telling a fun story.

  9. I love the sound of this book and all the themes you can touch on with children. The activities on the website are absolutely wonderful.

  10. Hi Kelly! This book teaches a lot of values that children can learn from at their young age. I also like the fact that it has some environmental touch to it. Thanks for sharing!

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