Floris books have published three books for children, which focus on gardening.
Floris books are the largest children's book publisher in Scotland. They publish board and picture books, international stories in translation, classics, story books, craft and activity books.
The green-fingered titles, which have been recently promoted by Floris online, are: "How Does My Garden Grow?" and "How Does My Fruit Grow?" by Gerda Muller; and "Evie and the Strawberry Patch Rescue" by Stefanie Dahle.
"How Does My Garden Grow?" focuses on a character named Sophie who lives in the city, and her vegetables come from the supermarket. Then she goes to visit her grandparents in the countryside - and soon discovers how much there is to learn about how things grow.
In "How Does My Fruit Grow?" Sophie, has learnt about growing fruit when she visited her aunt and uncle in the countryside. When she moves to a new town she discovers more about the fruits that grow there and finds new friends.
Both of the Sophie titles are suitable for ages 4-7.
Frances E. Millhouser, from the School Library Journal said: “This warm story of a child's summer at her grandparents' French country farm lovingly describes basic gardening techniques. As Sophie and Granddad John work together, city girl Sophie learns how to prepare a plot and then plants seeds, waters them, and watches the seedlings grow into productive plants. She helps harvest and eat the peas, radishes, and green beans that come from her garden instead of a supermarket. Fresh colours abound in the illustrations of Sophie, her grandparents, and her new friends. Creatures important to gardeners -- birds, butterflies, bees, rabbits, bats, moles, worms, slugs, snails, and grubs -- are beautifully pictured, as are the vegetables harvested throughout the summer. Sophie helps with autumn garden chores and late harvests as well as winter preparations during weekend visits. When spring comes again, Sophie creates a garden on her balcony with a friend. This combination of engaging story and gardening information will delight and teach readers.”
The writer of the Sophie books, Gerda Muller, was born in Naarden, Holland. She attended the Fine Arts School of Amsterdam and Ecole Estienne of Paris. She has illustrated over 120 books for children and her books have been translated into many languages.
From another book series, there is "Evie and the Strawberry Patch Rescue", which revolves around Evie, the Strawberry Fairy. Evie finds her strawberry patch flooded, and she needs to find somewhere for her plants to live. With the help of her friends, Evie moves them to a new home. The story is best suited to 3-7 year olds.
Alexandria, Age 7, stated for Kids Book Buzz: “I liked this book because it’s hilarious that Evie has to leave her strawberry patch. If I were her, I would have just dumped out the teapot, but then again, she is a fairy. She is a very cute fairy, and the illustrations are very cute, and I am so excited about the next book in the series. I believe this is a very good book for all ages, and everyone will be able to enjoy it for the rest of their lives, hopefully. It reminds me of Rainbow Magic, which is good for older kids, except this is better because there are no mean words or mean characters.”
Stefanie Dahle, who penned the Evie the Strawberry Fairy books, is a bestselling children's author and illustrator. She is well-known in Germany, where her books have sold over half a million copies.
There has been substantial research into the importance of books for children’s development, as well as the impact that gardening and interacting with nature have on young minds.
Research conducted by the University of Wisconsin and the University of Illinois indicates that children’s stories are an effective method for teaching social-emotional skills. Additional research, conducted by McCulliss and Chamberlain in 2013, suggests that using books therapeutically (bibliotherapy), in classrooms, helps foster healthy social and emotional growth in children. It helps children to develop insight, a deeper understanding of self, solutions to personal problems, and development of life skills.
In research from Michigan State University, gardening with young children has been proven to help their development. For example, practicing movement and balance when carrying tools from one place to the other; or fine motor skills when children use a trowel or pick up tiny seeds to plant. The sensory stimulation of being in the garden – for example the sound of water, the texture of the soil – has been proven to be extremely beneficial for childrens’ wellbeing.
The books are available from the Floris books website for £10.99 each.