Advanced Review – Uncorrected Proof
Issue: September 1, 2010
In the Garden with Dr. Carver
Grigsby, Susan (Author) , Tadgell, Nicole (Illustrator)
Sep 2010. 32 p. Albert Whitman, hardcover, $16.99. (9780807536308).
In this charming historical-fiction picture book, a young girl relates an educational and inspirational visit by Dr. George Washington Carver to her Alabama town. When Carver visits Sally’s school, his child friendly explanations (“Plants, like people, need nutritious food to help them grow”) and hands-on demonstrations invite the students’ curiosity and participation, as they learn about gardening, including the importance of respecting nature, and plant a school “kitchen” garden of their own. Concepts like composting and planting are well conveyed through Sally’s descriptive, sometimes lyrical narrative, which includes fun details like a school picnic filled with Carver’s recipes, such as sweet-potato-flour bread. The colorful watercolor illustrations, featuring soft touches and historical details, depict the rural setting and expressive characters; and attractive renderings of garden flora and fauna, labeled with scientific and common-use names, decorate the endpapers. Overall, this is an enjoyable, accessible, and informative
introduction to Carver’s work and philosophies as well as gardening basics. A brief endnote provides additional information on Carver.
— Shelle Rosenfeld