#kidlitSTEM Maxine and the Greatest Garden Ever


Today we’re highlighting a new picture book that came out this week, Maxine and the Greatest Garden Ever by Ruth Spiro and illustrated by Holly Hatam.

Ruth Spiro is the author of the popular Baby Loves Science series (previous post) for toddlers and preschoolers. Now she’s working on picture books for early elementary ages that celebrate problem solving and making things.

Maxine and Leo have a problem. Their beautiful garden is being eaten by all sorts of creatures. When they build a contraption to protect their plants, it goes awry and their friendship is on the rocks. Can they restore their friendship and solve the problem together?

Holly Hatam’s intricate illustrations are so creative. There are many interesting pieces to discover and discuss, like Maxine’s colorful colander hat.

Maxine and the Greatest Garden Ever will be a huge hit with young makers and budding engineers. Explore a copy today!

Related Activity Suggestion:

Plan a garden

After reading the book, children may be interested in growing a garden.

Planning a children’s garden can be done any time of year, but right now is a great time to get started. By giving your child the freedom to design his or her own space, a budget to work with and a few simple tools, you can have a project that builds a lifetime of skills and memories.

Types of Gardens
First help your child decide on the type of garden he or she would like to plant. Does your child like vegetables? Then a kitchen garden would be perfect. Other types of gardens might be flower gardens or herb gardens. Theme gardens are also popular, like a pollinator garden, pizza garden, or rainbow garden.

Your local Cooperative Extension office is likely to have information about gardening with children. For example, the University of Illinois Extension has a Planning My Garden area for kids with information on how to grow different plants. PBS has information/ideas about gardening with children and KidsGardening.org has many resources.

If you want to be part of an organization, take a look at the Cooperative Extension’s Junior Master Gardener Program.

Seed companies can also be a cool resource. Many of these websites have a wealth of information about gardening in addition to having plants and seeds for sale (not affiliated with any of these sites).

For more information, see our growing list of books for gardening with children at Science Books for Kids.


Reading age : 4 – 8 years
Publisher : Dial Books (February 16, 2021)
ISBN-10 : 0399186301
ISBN-13 : 978-0399186301


Disclosure: The book was donated electronically for review purposes. Also, I am an affiliate with Amazon so I can provide you with cover images and links to more information about books and products. As you probably are aware, if you click through the highlighted title link and purchase a product, I will receive a very small commission, at no extra cost to you. Any proceeds help defray the costs of hosting and maintaining this website.