Sunflowers, sunshine and seeds

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This year the girls and I are taking part in Nurture Store‘s Sunflower Challenge. Not only do we get to grow (hopefully) prize-winning sunflowers, we’re also helping raise funds for the work of the Compton Hospice. For a donation, Compton Hospice will send you a packet of sunflower seeds and then it’s over to you – for the growers of the four tallest sunflowers there are some wonderful prizes including family tickets to the Just So Festival 2011 and the ThinkTank in Birmingham.

Last week we planted our seeds…

…and ever since then we’ve been reading lots and lots of books about sunflowers, including To be like the Sun by Susan Marie Swanson, illustrated by Margaret Chodos-Irvine, which opens with these lines:

Hello, little seed,
striped gray seed.
Do you really know everything
about sunflowers?

To read my review, head on over to the Nurture Store blog. I’m thrilled that over the next few months I’ll be regularly guest posting for Cathy with reviews of sunflower picture books. I hope you’ll be popping over to read all about the books I’ve selected. And if you’d like to join in with the Sunflower challenge yourself, you can find all the details here.

In deciding which books to review as part of our Sunflower challenge I drew up a master list of great sounding books. I’ve not yet read them all, but I thought you might like the list to give you some ideas as you (hopefully) get seed sowing.

  • The Great Golden Thing by Linard Bardill and Miriam Monnier
  • A Place Where Sunflowers Grow by Amy Lee-Tai and Felicia Horishino
  • Measuring Angels by Lesley Ely and Polly Dunbar
  • Secret in the Mist by Margaret Nash and Stephen Lamber
  • Sunflower House by Eve Bunting, and Kathryn Hewitt
  • A Handful of Sunshine by Melanie Eclare
  • Sunflower by Miela Ford
  • Cardinal and Sunflower by James Preller and Huy Voun Lee
  • This Is the Sunflower by Lola M. Schaefer and Donald Crews
  • Camille and the Sunflowers by Laurence Anholt
  • Big Yellow Sunflower by Frances Barry
  • Sunflower Sal by Janet S. Anderson and Elizabeth Johns
  • Billy’s sunflower Karin Littlewood
  • From Seed to Sunflower by Gerald Legg
  • Sunflower Houses : Inspiration from the Garden – A Book for Children and Their Grown-Ups by Sharon Lovejoy
  • Wild Wild Sunflower Child Anna by Nancy White Carlstrom
  • Sam Plants a Sunflower by Kate Petty and Axel Scheffler
  • Max Loves Sunflowers by Ken Wilson-Max
  • The Sunflower Sword by Mark Sperring and Miriam Latimer – Thanks to @LibraryMice for putting me on to this one. You can read Melanie’s review here.


  • Do you have a favourite sunflower picture book? For a couple a sunflower book we’ve reviewed in the past, take a look here and to see what we did with our sunflowers at the end of the summer two years ago (!) take a look here ๐Ÿ™‚

    10 Responses

    1. I’m so pleased you’re helping us with the Sunflower Challenge Zoe, with your wonderful book recommendations. We planted our seeds this weekend so have our eyes on the soil every day now waiting for the first signs of them peeping up.

    2. We planted sunflowers too. I didn’t know about the challenge.

      The booklist looks great!

      • Hi JDaniel4’s Mom – do let me know if you read any of these I’ve listed, or any others alongside your growing sunflowers ๐Ÿ™‚

        Hi Cathy, It’s great to be contributing! It’s such a fun challenge, it promotes a great charity and it’s lovely to have had the excuse to get lots of books that have been on my wishlist since this time last year!

    3. We grew sunflowers for the first time last year. We only grow vegetables usually but my eldest is very fond of flowers so my husband has given him a space on our allotment for a flower patch. Our fave book (includes sunflowers) is Eddie’s Garden and How to Make Things Grow by Sarah Garland. Her books are totally fabulous and we have all three Eddie titles now (there’s one on cooking and one on DIY).

    4. Katie and the Sunflowers?!

    5. Your list is amazing. I’m using it to put books on hold–I also shared this link on my fb page. ๐Ÿ™‚ thanks!

    6. Jenny you really have made me day pointing me towards the Sarah Garland book – I now see it came out last September so is still quite new. I shall reserve it in our library, but suspect I’ll end up buying our own copy as I LOVE her storytelling and illustrations. My girls play at being Eddie and Lily at least once a week I’d say!

      Choxbox – yes – I hadn’t forgotten – it’s just that i linked to that post in my final paragraph and didn’t want to repeat myself ๐Ÿ™‚

      Vanessa – thanks for sharing it on FB – that’s great. Is it sunflower sowing season yet where you are?

    7. We moved to a new house almost a year ago. We went from no yard to a nice large one and this will be our first full spring here! I’m looking forward to experimenting in the garden and learning lots with my little one this year. We may just have to add sunflowers to our list now!

      Maybe we will plant a variety as I actually love the reddish ones.

      Thanks for the list of books too. The only sunflower theme book I knew off the top of my head was What’s This? A Seed’s Story

    8. My older daughter just told me today that she read this book in kindergarten. I thought, “I have to tell Zoe about it for her sunflower theme” but a quick search discovered that you’d already beat me to it. Of course ๐Ÿ™‚

      I haven’t seen it yet but have reserved it at the public library so I can look at it with her.

      Each morning the teacher puts out bins of books on the kids’ tables – one per table, each with a different theme (animals, fairy tales, transportation). Today my daughter’s table got the poetry books and she said this book was kind of like a poem.
      Even in Australia recently posted..All Things in Moderation

      • So lovely that you thought of me! It’s definitely very poetic – the book that is, not necessarily you thinking for me and the blog ๐Ÿ˜‰ Hope you enjoy it when it arrives. The illustrations are lovely – but I do have a special thing for prints.

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