There’s so much kids can learn from working a garden plot—science, focus, empathy, and that skill we never stop struggling with, patience. These 15 beautiful books will set the tone and have your little ones raring to get out and get dirty; dig through the slideshow to see them all.

The Little Gardener

Age: 3-7

In a reverse of The Elves and the Shoemaker, a Lilliputian gardener gets behind in his huge garden and despairs of ever being able to tame it. Exhausted, he falls asleep and awakes a month later—to find that two children have discovered his garden and given it the work it deserved. Short, magical, and quietly brilliant.

Available at flyingeyebooks.com, $17.95.

What’s your favorite book about gardening? Share with us in a comment below!

—Emma Bland Smith