Inside: From cute stories to scientific facts, these 16 picture books about dandelions are sure to help you and your children learn about those lovely miniature suns outside your window.
Spring is here, which means that you’re probably beginning to see dandelions popping out here and there. That means it’s time to fill your hands and book baskets with books about them!
When it comes to children’s stories about dandelions, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything: classics like Don Freeman’s Dandelion, an imaginative wordless picture book by Arthur Geisert, popular sellers like Ame Dyckman’s Dandy, and some of our favorite hidden gems like Knitter’s A Promise Is a Promise.
I hope this list will be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a great book about dandelions.
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The Best Books about Dandelions
Dandy, Ame Dyckman
Just thinking about this story makes us grin from ear to ear. It’s such a perfect combo of nail-biting suspense and humor. If you happen to live with someone who is obsessed with eradicating any trace of dandelions (like us :), you will laugh twice as hard.
Daddy lion spies a lone dandelion on his perfectly manicured lawn, but before he can do anything about it, his cute cub announces that this flower is her best friend. What’s a Daddy to do? This would be a beautifully inspiring book for Father’s Day (Daddy’s love is limitless). It’s also an opportunity to explore difficult topics such as how to settle a dispute and reconcile our differences. Or, even more importantly, how can we be friends with people who see things so differently from us?
The expressive artwork is a treat.
A Promise Is a Promise, Knister
Originally published in German, this story is a huge hit in my home. A marmot wakes up after a long winter’s nap and forms a friendship with a lovely dandelion that blossoms outside his den. But what will happen after the yellow blossoms turn to white fluff and scatter to the wind? Will this marmot ever see his dandelion friend again?
The book really is clever and offers many scientific facts about the life cycle of dandelions, the change of seasons, and hibernation – disguised as a friendship story. The artistic style of talented French artist Eva Tharlet really appeals to me; I could study each page for hours.
Dandelion, Don Freeman
We thoroughly enjoyed this funny story about a lion who gets so fancied up for the party that the host doesn’t recognize him and closes the door in his face! Just then, a sudden rainstorm washes away his complicated hairdo and drenches his well-tailored suit. Back to his usual self, the ragged-looking lion digs up a dandelion from under a porch as a gift and heads back to the party.
Some educators might be inspired to use this book for a discussion about not trying to impress others with your looks. Others, like me, might be more moved to talk about true friends accepting you the way that you are, even if you decide to look fancy one day.
You probably know Don Freeman best from his Corduroy series, but this story (illustrated in just two colors, yellow and brown) is also a gem, and I hope you will explore it with your kids.
Nibbles: a Green Tale, Charlotte Middleton
Dandeville is a cute little town, nestled among the rolling hills of England. It’s populated by guinea pigs who love nothing more than munching on dandelion leaves. The problem is that soon there are no more dandelions left anywhere in town, maybe not even in the whole world!
That’s when Nibbles stumbles upon one last dandelion plant, and … as my kids said, the plot thickens…
The mixed media artwork in this book combines photographs of real vegetables, fabric collages, and pencil drawings. This humorous story about the importance of delaying gratification (and the value of library research), will be a lovely addition on any bookshelf.
Dandelions, Katrina McKelvey
A little girl is sad because her father just mowed down her favorite flowers – dandelions. Attempting to cheer her up, her dad takes her to the backyard, where the last dandelion plant stands in all its white puffball glory. She blows the tiny parachutes away, and they spend a long and lovely afternoon speculating where each seed will go and what it might see.
This heart-warming book about the father-daughter bond is full of light, cheerful colors, and playful type font swirling as if blown by the wind. Among books about dandelions, this one stands out for its emphasis on the magic of nature and the beauty of the world around us.
Dandelion Magic, Darren Farrell
We love this interactive book about dandelion magic. Just follow the instructions, and you will be blowing air to fill Jonah’s sails, producing loud noises to scare the sea serpent away, and making scary faces to distract a giant squid. With the help of this book, you will vanish into the magical world of your own imagination and very likely bring a lot of enthusiastic kids with you.
The thing is that each year, although there are billions of dandelions, there will only be one magic dandelion. If you make a wish on that flower and blow, your wish will come true. Go ahead, pick as many dandelions as you can, blow, and make lots of wishes! Who knows, maybe this year it will be you who comes across the magic dandelion.
Soft pastel illustrations here are very pleasing to the eye. And if you want additional activities to spark your child’s creativity, visit the author’s website for instructions on making a cute magical wish jar – a perfect activity for the warm days of spring.
The Giant Seed, Arthur Geisert
A giant dandelion seed comes out of nowhere, and when the volcano erupts, it saves the whole porcupine community. This story is especially enchanting because it’s told without words, and the artwork is quite remarkable. Each page is a hand-printed and colored copper plate etching that gives each image a sort of aged feel.
My favorite page is where the brave little pigs are grabbing each giant dandelion fluff and floating into the blue unknown. Invite your kids to tell the story as they see it in their own words. Or ask them What would they do in this situation?
Something Extraordinary, Ben Clanton
The story’s young protagonist wishes on a dandelion for something extraordinary to happen. And his wish comes true. The point of this story is that if you spend your days dreaming about superior experiences, the danger is that you might walk by many extraordinary things without even noticing. It invites you to pay attention and open your eyes to the wonders that are here right now.
Cute pencil illustrations have a childish feel but pack in impressive sophistication and expression. Kids need to hear that they don’t have to go all out in order to have an extraordinary life. They just need to notice all the wonderful things that already exist in their lives. A good lesson for us all.
Dandelion Adventures, L. Patricia Kite
How do dandelions grow? How far do they travel in the wind? What do they need to live?
This story starts in spring when seven dandelion seeds fly into the air up and away. As we turn the pages, we learn where each one lands (sidewalk crack, a farmer’s garden, muddy shore, schoolyard, …) and what happens next. How will the dandelion seeds make it work in new places?
Did you know that dandelion fluff can travel more than 100 miles? Fascinating facts like these are sprinkled throughout the story, and there’s more information at the back of the book.
The beautiful watercolor artwork is soft and lovely and makes the story even more enjoyable.
Dandelions (Life Cycles series), Robin Nelson
A dandelion roundup wouldn’t be complete without a great nonfiction title. This small square book is perfect for getting your dandelion facts straight. It introduces kids to a life cycle of dandelions with short, informative sentences. You will also see lots of close-up color photographs and scientific facts.
The Dandelion Seed, Joseph Anthony
There can’t be spring without winter. There can’t be a happy landing without the journey. One little dandelion seed is afraid to let go until he’s the only dandelion seed left in the garden. But the strong winter winds won’t leave him alone and carry him away on a long journey of discovery until he lands in deep snow.
A fun way to learn the life cycle of a dandelion plant, and about the importance of letting something life-changing happen to you. Big, bright, beautiful illustrations are almost life-like in detail and scope. There is a sequel book called The Dandelion’s Big Dream about patience, persistence, and the value of a growth mindset.
Dandelion’s Dream, Yoko Tanaka
This is one of those wordless picture books that is open to wide interpretation, and it’s possible your little ones will come up with a different story every time you read it. On the title page, we see a little dandelion plant just about ready to burst open, and on the last page, we see the dandelion fluff blown by the wind towards the moon. The pages in between are filled with adventure.
To create the dramatic artwork, the Japanese illustrator Yoko Tanaka grounded charcoal sticks with sandpaper and then rubbed the powder on the pages. The shapes were created with clear masking sheets, and the details were drawn with charcoal pencils. I love how subdued dark shades are combined with bursts of yellow into a perfectly composed artwork. It’s poetic and sophisticated.
The Dandelion’s Tale, Kevin Sheehan
It took me a few readings to figure it out; at its core, this picture book is about our need to share our stories and the power of words to do so. The lonely dandelion is growing in the middle of the field. His time is running out, and almost all of his seeds are gone. A helpful Sparrow listens to his life’s story and scratches it into a nearby patch of dirt. But the same night, a terrible storm destroys the dandelion and washes away his story. Fortunately, Sparrow finds a way to make sure the dandelion’s story will never be forgotten.
With ink, crayon, watercolor, and pencil, the American artist, Rob Dunlavey, created wonderfully detailed and beautiful artwork. I loved the earthly tones and incredible range of dramatic expression. You can use this book to talk about the life cycle, how nature always takes its course, and how stories preserve beautiful things for the next generation.
Dandelions: Stars in the Grass, Mia Posada
“I know that some people
Call it a weed,
But for me, the dandelion
Is a noble breed.”
With playful rhymes and cheerful colored illustrations, Mia Posada introduces kids to dandelion science: the lifecycle of flowers, spring facts, and more.
“The turfs float on the wind
Until falling to rest.
A nice grassy hillside
Is what they like best.”
Our brain loves patterns. That’s why this lovely poem about dandelions feels so satisfying.
Kids will learn a lot of science while having a ton of fun. In the back, there are more science facts, activities, and a dandelion salad recipe. Ans of course, the rhymes make it a great book for reading aloud.
Dandelions to Eat, Margo Gates (Pull-Ahead Readers)
If you would like to get a seasonal, beginner reader for your youngest kids, this one will do the trick. It might be one of the first books your emerging readers will read on their own.
“A bee flew by.
“I’ll stop here,” she said.
The bee ate.”
Then a butterfly and a rabbit come to eat some dandelions too. And after they eat them all, they go ahead and find a new patch of dandelions.
Woolfred Cannot Eat Dandelions, Claudine Crangle
You kids will especially appreciate this story if they have some food allergies or restrictions. Woolfred is a sheep who can’t eat dandelions. Other sheep can eat dandelions all day and luxuriate in their sunny sweetness, but not Woolfred. The story ends with his realization that he can enjoy life more if he stops focusing on what’s missing.
My kids love the dramatic images of his indigestion. The final double spread is dedicated to talking points with kids who feel defective in some way because they’re different from the crowd, helping them see their own strengths and good qualities and let go of what they can’t control.