Grow Your Own by Esther Hall

Age Range: 3 to 6

With the warmer weather our thoughts have turned to growing and planting fruit and vegetables. Grow Your Own ‘A yummy story about growing (and eating!) your own food’ is a great story for initiating discussion about how fruit and vegetables grow.

Grow Your Own - Story SnugThe Story: Sidney Bean lives with his mum in the city and eats ready meals. One summer he goes to stay with Granny in the country and helps in her garden. He learns about growing broccoli, carrots, runner beans and strawberries and eats a variety of fruit and vegetables. Sidney and Granny have such a successful summer that they set up a stall to sell their surplus products. At the end of the summer Granny packs fruit and vegetables into boxes and Mum arrives to pick Sidney up in her new delivery van, she’s changed her job so she can deliver Granny’s fruit and vegetables in the city and help Granny in the garden at the weekend.

I always find it interesting talking to children about where their food comes from, some fruit and vegetables are so familiar to them but often they have no idea how or where they grow. Grow Your Own introduces garden vocabulary e.g. manure, soil, weeding, feeding and shows a variety of fruit and vegetables. Granny’s meals include her homegrown fruit and vegetables and Sidney tries them all (although at the end he still doesn’t like mushrooms!). Children can also identify fruit and vegetables that aren’t mentioned in the text but are shown in the illustrations.

Esther Hall uses earthy colours for the illustrations. The first three pages introduce the city and are grey and colourless in comparison with the more vibrant colours used for the country. The different uses of colour and the fact that Sidney eats ready meals when he is in the city stimulated a discussion with my daughter about how you can still grow fruit and vegetables in pots on balconies or in window boxes if you live in the city and/or haven’t got a garden. We grow carrots and tomatoes in pots, we’ve had more success than when we’ve planted them in the garden.

I used Grow Your Own to introduce a planting session with a group of three to five year olds. Before I read the story we looked at and named a selection of fruit and vegetables and talked about whether they grew under the ground, on a bush or on a tree. I was surprised that although an onion was a familiar vegetable to the children none of them knew what it was called.

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Then we read the story and identified the fruit and vegetables that Sidney and Granny grew. Finally we planted a bean and some cress. Both should grow quite quickly, we just need to learn to have patience!

Growing cress and beans Story Snug http://storysnug.com

Author / Illustrator: Esther Hall

Grow Your Own!

by Esther Hall [Pan Macmillan]
£0.01 ·  EUR 6,99 ·  EUR 7,07 ·  EUR 6,79 ·  $9.99

22 thoughts on “Grow Your Own by Esther Hall

  1. We love this time of year and have already planted beans and sunflowers in the garden. This would be a fantastic story to read after a day of hard work out in the garden. Thank you for joining in with #kidsbookaweek

  2. This sounds like a great story. We’ve spent the last week trying to get our garden ready for planting after the winter. Heading out shortly to pick up seeds and more plants. Last year we had lots of carrots and pumpkins so my children are very eager to get planting again! Thanks for sharing, popping over from My Life as a Mummy Weekend Blog Hop! Have a great weekend!

    • We planted pumpkins last year too and were very surprised at how enormous they got! So far this year we’ve planted carrots and tomatoes. We’ve also planted blueberry and raspberry bushes for the first time.

  3. Wow, this sounds like a great story! I too think that children are more interested in food when they know where it’s come from. Also being involved in the growing stage as it’s fun. Fun food tastes great, that’s a fact 🙂 #weekendbloghop

    • I think it’s important that children know where their food comes from. My daughter loves going out to pick her tomatoes from the plant and she finds our misshapen carrots hilarious 🙂

    • The interesting thing about growing fruit and vegetables is that some years you can be more successful than others, also a useful lesson to learn 🙂

  4. How lovely! I think I might have to look for this. We are planning on doing some planting with our toddler, and you’ve inspired me to get a move on with it! x

  5. What a brilliant way to teach children about where their food comes from. We have planted our own strawberry seeds and Cameron is very impressed that they have sprouted.

    Thanks for linking up to the #WeekendBlogHop

    Laura x x x

  6. Love this! I worry about my daughter not making the connection between her food and where it comes from, as we live in a first floor flat with no garden.
    I love the idea of using the story to then go on and plant seeds!
    Thanks for linking up #WeekendBlogHop

    • Could you plant seeds and then give the seedlings to family or friends to plant in their gardens? Maybe your daughter could visit and see how they grow.

  7. Hello there, wow I love your blog and I love this post, I am going to try this with my little boy. We have just started getting him to plant vegetables and apparently it’s his garden now! He has just turned three but has all the equipment a small boy needs to get growing. Thanks so much for this, looking forward to reading more xxx

    • Hi Lystra, thank you for the blog compliment and thank you for visiting Story Snug 🙂 I hope you and your son have lots of fun in the garden this year.

  8. Oh, I would love my children to take part in a lesson like this. I think it’s a wonderful way to explore and you’re right, so many children don’t get exposed to where their food comes from that they need encouragement and confidence to try growing for themselves. #thethemegame

    • It was really interesting to hear where they thought particular fruit and vegetables grew. I learnt something too, I didn’t know how an avocado grew before I did this activity!

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