StoryTRACKS Book Activity for Up, Down & Around

StoryTRACKSBOOK TITLE: Up, Down & Around
AUTHOR: Katherine Ayres
ILLUSTRATOR: Nadine Bernard Westcott

SUMMARY OF BOOK: Two children help a gardener take a garden from planting to harvesting. While “broccoli grows up, beets grow down, green beans wind around and around.” The refrain is repeated with different vegetables. There is a lot going on in all the illustrations! Download this Activity Sheet in PDF.


Ask questions and use what the child already knows to add to the discussion, assisting the child in understanding and enjoying the book.

  1. Talk about the cover of the book: “What vegetables do you see? What bugs?” “What are the children doing? Do they look happy? How do you know that?”
  2. “What are the things we eat that grow in a garden?” Which of those has your child seen actually growing?
  3. Prepare your child for the adventure of being in a garden!


  1. As you come across the repeating lines, encourage your child to repeat and complete them: “Peppers grow… Potatoes grow ….”
  2. Use motions and movement to show “up, down, around and around.” Stoop down, rise up, whirl around!
  3. Spend time with the pictures, encouraging your child to find details he wants to pay attention to. “What’s happening here?” (the big picture as well as the other things the bugs and animals are doing)
  4. Relate to your child’s experience: “Have we eaten this vegetable?” “Which taste do you like best?” “Do you eat it raw or cooked?”
  5. See if your child can identify the items at the lunch table and which vegetable went into them.


  1. When shopping, cooking, or eating, relate it back to the book: “How do carrots grow? What do tomatoes do?”
  2. Pay attention to bugs. Some of them fly up, some burrow down. Help your child make the connection to the book.
  3. If you garden, have your child decide which way your plants are growing.
  4. Plant some seeds together and watch them grow.
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