Joanna Gaines’ new book came out just in time for planting season! Check out the story behind the book she co-wrote with her kids about starting their family garden and share your #WeAreTheGardeners photos on social media!

By Jenny Krane

Just when we thought Joanna Gaines had done it all, she wrote a children’s book. Better yet, she wrote this beautifully illustrated book with the help of her kids! We Are the Gardeners is available now.

Image courtesy of Harper Collins Publishers

Having published four books already, this is the first children’s book from the Magnolia brand. Although it's a picture book, there are basic gardening lessons that adults can learn from the story; the book serves as a way to get your kids to help you in the garden.

Joanna is known for her farmhouse-style interior design, rustic baking, and minimalist style. But gardening is one of her lesser-known passions. After moving to their current home, one of Joanna's major projects was her beautiful European-inspired garden. A cute chicken coop and raised beds for growing vegetables, herbs, and fruit made the land on the property into space for her and her kids to grow something together. The heartfelt experiences in the garden inspired We Are the Gardeners.

Readers can use their story as a guide for troubleshooting problems in their own family garden. There are so many lessons to be learned in the garden, and Joanna hopes to inspire other families to learn in the same way hers did.

The illustrated book is based on the Gaines' real experiences and tells the story of Joanna and her kids starting their own family garden. This includes every adventure and challenge they faced along the way. Readers can use the story as a guide for starting their own family garden, along with helping troubleshoot any problems they may face.

Image courtesy of Harper Collins Publishers

It all started with a fern. The Gaines kids accidentally killed the fern they had bought for Joanna—they loved it TOO much and overwatered it. According to the publisher, their story is a lesson in perseverance. Instead of quitting, the kids bought her another fern to try again. After that fern lived, they were inspired to start an outdoor garden.

Upon starting to work outside, Joanna and the kids faced challenges like bugs, weeds, and hungry animals eating their plants. The chickens ate the vegetables, the goats ate the roses, and the bunnies ate just about everything else.

Image courtesy of Harper Collins Publishers

Joanna decided to write a book on her family’s gardening adventures, both the good and the bad. She and the kids used their shared stories to create the book and told it from the children’s point-of-view. The Gaines kids will also be an integral part of the audio edition of the book—they’re going to be reading it!

The hardcover book has 40 colorful pages of whimsical watercolor illustrations by Julianna Swaney and easy-to-read text of the adventures of the Gaines family in their garden. The book is a little larger than most children’s books and has a classic look with green, linen binding. Order it today!

Image courtesy of Magnolia

To celebrate the release of the book, Joanna is encouraging readers to share photos of their kids in the garden with the hashtag #WeAreTheGardeners—download free "I Am a Gardener" flags for your kids to hold or tuck into the plants. Share your family's gardening story in the caption and see if your post is shared! Six lucky readers will win garden packs or copies of the book. Learn more about how to participate on the Magnolia blog.

Comments (1)

February 21, 2019
Looks cute, like the idea of the kids being involved, but a little pricey for many families today on tight budgets. Also, as coming from an art background and loving the two culture background of Joanna, it seems the illustrator didn't quite capture the heritage of the family, to me looks "whitewashed". Might not be intentional, but more down to the artist not experienced or skilled to depicting various ethnicities. Well, guess it was Gaines approved anyway.