Friday, October 16, 2020

Exploring a Prairie

Today we're heading off to explore the Prairie. Just the word "prairie" sounds expansive and filled with tall grasses and flowers. 

Plant a Pocket of Prairie 
by Phyllis Root; illus. by Betsy Bowen 
40 pages; ages 5-8
U of Minnesota Press, 2014 

theme: ecosystem, plants, ecology

 Once prairie stretched for thousands of miles, an ocean of flowers and grasses, a sea of sky ….

…and a home for bison, burrowing owls, and butterflies. Almost all of the prairie is gone, but you could see what it might be like if you planted a bit of it in your backyard. Or balcony. Or along the street.

Phyllis Root describes what seeds you could sow, and the butterflies and birds and other animals that might come to visit. And if your tiny pocket garden should spread and grow bigger… who knows what might happen!

What I like about this book: Betsy Bowen’s illustrations are so airy that they capture the feeling of prairie. And there is plenty of back matter! There’s more about each plant and animal featured in the book – plus directions for planting a pocket garden of prairie plants. For explorers, there’s a list of places where you can find bits of preserved and/or restored prairie.

Beyond the Books:

Learn more about prairies. Check out this post to discover more about plants and animals living on the prairie. 

Go on a prairie field trip. If there’s no prairie nearby, try a virtual field trip. Here are two: Tucker Prairie in Missouri, and Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve in Kansas. Don’t forget to pack a lunch.

Pocket gardens get their name because they are small
. But what if you planted a garden in an actual pocket? If you've got a worn pair of jeans, the back pockets make fun hanging pots.

Looking for more books about prairie plants and animals? Check out these reviews here and here.

Today we're joining Perfect Picture Book Friday, an event where bloggers share great picture books at Susanna Leonard Hill's website. Review copy provided by the publisher.


  1. Looks wonderful, and your descriptions of Bowen's art really make me want to read it!

  2. This is a delightful book. It is one of those I come back to from time to time.

    Love the pocket garden suggestion. What fun!

  3. I've become a fan of the U of Minnesota's books, having read and reviewed a couple. They usually have terrific back matter, too, and unusual artwork centered on traditional media. This one looks like a winner, too!

  4. Sounds like a beautiful and educational book about prairies. I am partial towards them because we have a huge prairie at WPAFB in Dayton, at the end of the runway. It's so beautiful! And, it's where the Wright Brother's mastered flying their aircraft.

  5. Oh, I love the pocket garden idea. How fun is that. My GS Troop would have adored making those. Great #PPBF choice, Sue.