Book Look – February Book Picks

Book Look by Patrick Ryan, Education Specialist, Alaska Botanical Garden

To celebrate Black History Month and Presidents’ Day, I’ve picked a trio of wonderful picture books, for your enjoyment.

The first is In the Garden with Dr. Carver. Of course Dr. Carver is known for developing several hundreds of products from peanuts (what would life be with peanut butter?!). The book by Susan Grigsby with illustrations by Nicole Tadgell is a fictionalized account of Dr. Carver and how he taught children to grow plants. The text includes historical information on this great scientist.

Number two is: Farmer George Plants a Nation by Peggy Thomas with wonderful paintings by Layne Johnson. The text comes partly from his letters and diaries and we learn about his agricultural inclinations and innovations. The book also invites other discussions as the illustrations depict that “peculiar institution“ of slavery. All in all, a beautiful read.

An adult read would be the Founding Gardeners by Andrea Wulf.

Number three is First Peas to the Table , also by the team of  Grigby and Tadgell. In this story, a second-grade teacher challenges her students to bring their harvest of peas to maturity from the school garden so they can have a feast in the class, just as Thomas Jefferson did with his neighbors. By the way, Jefferson seldom won the contest!

Late Breaking News: New book! Thomas Jefferson Grows a Nation. I’ll be picking up this one!