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Planting a Rainbow
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Planting a Rainbow

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  5,223 ratings  ·  236 reviews
This educational and enjoyable book helps children understand how to plant bulbs, seeds, and seedlings, and nurture their growth. Lois Ehlert's bold collage illustrations include six pages of staggered width, presenting all the flowers of each color of the rainbow.
Paperback, 32 pages
Published February 28th 1992 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published 1988)
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Average rating 4.11  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,223 ratings  ·  236 reviews

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Nov 07, 2016 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Children; Parents; Teachers
Every year Mom and I plant a rainbow.

Each letter in the word 'rainbow' is a different color.

In the fall we buy some bulbs and plant them in the ground.

This book is a good book if you want to teach a child about plant names. Although the text is extremely simple, We have some red flowers, and orange flowers, the names of all the flowers are listed (on the flower, or on the Popsicle stick that marks each plot) in every single picture. So you have terms like zinnia, tiger lily, and delphinium
Gulzar Malji
May 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is a story about a little girl and her mother who plant seeds in their garden. The girl sees these different coloured flowers come out but thinks they are rainbows.

This is a great book for EYFS, KS1 and KS2. Nursery can use this to be introduced to colours. Reception children will develop their KUW of how plants grow. We could bring in some real plants and flowers for the children. KS1 /2 will be able to use this to learn about the life cycle as part of science and perhaps base a lesson
Feb 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: parents and early elementary or preshool children
Shelves: programbook, gardens
I use this every year for spring-flower-gardening story time. It is always a big hit with preschool. We end by making a flower picture on a flannel board. 1992

A girl picked this (I had her select, so she would listen to a story instead of going to the Early Learning computer.) tonight and had Ms. Piggy (her stuffed animal?) name all the colors (a boy and his dragon got in on the act too). 5/22/12

Used this for a preschool garden program, since we had it in a big book format and I had 2 day cares
Very nice pictures.

This book has grown on me as I have become more interested in gardening. Used for "colors" storytime in April 2019.
Nancy Kotkin
A simple story about planting a garden doubles as a concept book to teach colors. The names of all the flowers are labelled as well. Bright, boldly colored paper-cut illustrations and sparse, large print will appeal to the youngest picture book audience. I especially like the staggered-length array of rainbow pages that feature the types of flowers found in the garden, according to color.
Elizabeth Moreau Nicolai
Bright clear illustrations on a white background make this a good one for a very littles one storytime. Simple text. I don't read all the labels of all the plants, just one or two a page.
Feb 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children
Perfect book to teach about colors, flowers and gardening to a pre-schooler.
Nicole Gray
Feb 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kid-lit
Lois Ehlert uses all the colors of the rainbow to teach children about how to plant a garden. The book starts with planting seeds then adding plants to their garden. Through the book you watch the garden grow as it gets warmer. She goes through all the colors of the rainbow and the different flowers that were grown. Lots of bright colors used and great illustrations!
Nov 15, 2017 rated it really liked it

"Planting a Rainbow" is a great kindergarten book to help reinforce colors!!!! The imagery in the picture book is awesome and engaging. Vibrant colors are definitely a good tool in this book, all of the flowers share colors and some are just single colors, as showcased by the child explanting how he creates a garden every year. While reading the book, have the students decipher and talk about the colors they see. Students need to make connections and this is a good way
Kelli Bratten
Louis Ehlert books are wonderful for the colorful illustrations and introduction of new words. Many of the plants will be new to the kids and will present new vocabulary. I would use this book for a kindergarten or first grade, possibly second grade classroom, since there are less words throughout the book. This book could be used on a unit in teaching living v. nonliving. As a class we would plant our own plants to ingrain the steps in the book and other books we would have read. Since many of ...more
Tanya Bornstein
This book so much fun! I love how they used the colors of the rainbow to help children understand how to plant seeds and tend to them. This book is quiet colorful and easy to read. Children will love it!

L.E: After reading this book allowed the children can plant their own seed in the classroom have each plant up by the window and the children can check its progress everyday and water it when they think it is needed.

1. Plants grow in the spring time.
2. Seeds need to be in warm soil to
Jun 17, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens
We really enjoyed this book, the whole family. Bright colorful pictures, all about planting colorful flowers so you have a rainbow garden, this book is a solid level 1 reading book, as long as you don't count the names of the flowers. A great book to expand your vocabulary for flowers, although, even I had a difficult time remembering how to pronounce some of the names of the flowers.
Updated January 28, 2019: after planting several rainbow gardens as a family, this book was more enjoyed and understood this time.
Amanda S.
Feb 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s
I loved the intentionality in this book...use of words that would stretch a child's vocabulary and plants that are labeled with the colors that the plant will grow to become.
Jul 31, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children
Colorful, sweet and simple story about a flower garden.
May 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: baby-books
My daughter LOVES this book. As a nature-lover, I am happy to find child-friendly books that encourage planting flowers.
Planting a garden full of different colours.

Great for learning colours and seasons but I don't know about the whole complex flower names in a board book.

V @ 7 months old.
This is a picture book about planting a flower garden that has all the colors in the rainbow.

This is a heavy-hitting concept book. It teaches both colors as well as provides an introduction to gardening that shows the different ways to start plants (bulbs, seeds, and seedlings) and the names of decorative flowers most common to the Northwestern hemisphere's temperate climates.

The illustrations showcase Lois Ehlert at her best. They are bright colorful collages, making great use of white space.
Helen O'Hara
Mar 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Today's storytime was Rainbow Magic in celebration of the official beginning of SPRING!


This book was a Harcourt Big Book which had GIANT pages. I love these books for storytime, especially for the bigger crowds. We learned the names of lots of different flowers, identified colors of the rainbow, and discussed how plants grow.

Extension activity: Coloring rainbows with crayons and making bracelets with Fruit Loops and pipe cleaners. Happy Spring, everyone!
Ashley Heil
May 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
This picture book is intended for ages 4 and up. Painting a Rainbow is a colorful way to teach a child how to plant flowers. It has small descriptions of the flowers and shows the more simple process of planting a garden.
Ehlert's picture book is educational and full of color that is eye-catching and inviting. The narrator is a child who explains the detailed process in a manner that is appropriate and easy to understand for the reader. Ehlert give the reader a detailed yet simplistic
Mar 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
I love the illustrations! Big, bold, and colorful, the simple shapes really pop against the white background, making this great for storytimes. The six "cutaway" pages are especially effective at showing how the different colored plants and flowers make a rainbow. It reminded me a little bit of "The Very Hungry Caterpillar." I think preschool-aged kids would enjoy naming the colors they recognize. It might be fun too to try pronouncing some of the more obscure flower names. I plan to use this ...more
May 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
That punk Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow today which means six more weeks of winter. Liar. I believe (hope?!) it will come sooner. This book will help get us through. It talks of making plans of a flower garden, from ordering the seeds in the winter to cutting for bouquets in the summer. So if you need a little color to get you through the rest of winter pick up this book and maybe some flowers from the market. #kidsbooksworthreading #kidslit #plantingarainbow #loisehlert #childrensliterature ...more
Brightly colored, big and bold colored flowers bloom as a narrator and their mom plan and plant their rainbow (their garden). Real flowers too - not just generic "purple" but "phlox," "pansy" and "violet" - so a nice touch for gardeners to read with their kids. Good for a storytime on seasons, flowers, gardens, colors. Could also be one to read/have out for a younger STEM program involving plants.
Sep 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
In this picture book, a child and their mother plant various bulbs, tend to them as they grow and then watch them bloom into flowers of various colors. This book explains the steps of planting a flower garden and goes over different colors in a simple and easy-to-understand manner. The pictures are also colorful and bold and it teaches basic vocabulary. Overall, a great picture book about gardening and colors.
Megan - Alohamora Open a Book
Stunning illustrations for this simple book about growing seeds, and growing a colorful garden. The text is simple. This could make for a great school age lesson for teachers, but I'd do a KWL chart beforehand to make it that much more valuable.

Preschool/Toddler storytime could use this book to talk about colors, planting seeds, and the order/steps you take to accomplish something. A fun book to read in the spring.
Apr 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a good book for a read-aloud because it’s so colorful and kids will enjoy reviewing the colors or the rainbow aloud. It’s also good for a one-on-one reading. The reader can get into all the different plant names with the child and build strong vocabulary skills. The perfect read for spring and early summer.
Susanna Hargreaves
May 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A sweet story about how planting a garden can bring color to the world. It shares different types of flowers and their colors and the process of growing them. This would be a great book to read while planning and planting flowers and talking about the seasons. It also can be used in an art class, summer camp, preschool, or elementary school.
Sherry Scheline
Mar 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful children's book that is perfect for a spring read. It has some difficulty as per some of the flowers identified are difficult Phlox, Zinnia, Aster and a few others. It however is a great read and wonderful for a class room or an individual. We read it along with our other St. Patrick's Day books because it is a rainbow book.
Apr 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
My goto book for spring story times! Preschoolers love the colors. Bright beautiful illustrations of many flowers arranged in single colors until the end when a rainbow of flowers appears! I love to pair this book up with a flower seed planting activity with the littles. They so enjoy planting seeds and watching them grow in their classroom windows!
Jenna Parsons
Nov 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
I think that this book is great for a science lesson in an elementary classroom. I do not think it would be something that a child would pick up to read. If they did, it would only be for the beautiful pictures. I would give this book to a child that is a hands-on learner to take a reading and transfer it to real life.
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Lois Ehlert has created numerous inventive, celebrated, and bestselling picture books, including Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, Holey Moley, The Scraps Book, Mice, Ten Little Caterpillars, RRRalph, Lots of Spots, Boo to You!, Leaf Man, Waiting for Wings, Planting a Rainbow, Growing Vegetable Soup, and Color Zoo, which received a Caldecott Honor. She lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin