Cover image for The secret garden of George Washington Carver
Title:
The secret garden of George Washington Carver
ISBN:
9780062430151
Edition:
1st ed.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 29 cm.
Added Author:
Summary:
The inspirational story of George Washington Carver and his childhood secret garden is brought to life in this picture book biography by the author-illustrator team behind Muhammad Ali: A Champion Is Born. When George Washington Carver was just a young child, he had a secret: a garden of his own. Here, he rolled dirt between his fingers to check if plants needed more rain or sun. He protected roots through harsh winters, so plants could be reborn in the spring. He trimmed flowers, spread soil, studied life cycles. And it was in this very place that George's love of nature sprouted into something so much more--his future. Gene Barretta's moving words and Frank Morrison's beautiful paintings tell the inspiring life and history of George Washington Carver, from a baby born into slavery to celebrated botanist, scientist, and inventor. His passion and determination are the seeds to this lasting story about triumph over hardship--a tale that begins in a secret garden.
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Summary

Summary

The inspirational story of George Washington Carver and his childhood secret garden is brought to life in this picture book biography by the author-illustrator team behind Muhammad Ali: A Champion Is Born.

When George Washington Carver was just a young child, he had a secret: a garden of his own.

Here, he rolled dirt between his fingers to check if plants needed more rain or sun. He protected roots through harsh winters, so plants could be reborn in the spring. He trimmed flowers, spread soil, studied life cycles. And it was in this very place that George's love of nature sprouted into something so much more--his future.

Gene Barretta's moving words and Frank Morrison's beautiful paintings tell the inspiring life and history of George Washington Carver, from a baby born into slavery to celebrated botanist, scientist, and inventor. His passion and determination are the seeds to this lasting story about triumph over hardship--a tale that begins in a secret garden.


Reviews 3

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 3--George Washington Carver is best known as an agricultural expert who discovered versatile uses for the peanut. This story focuses on his first garden. Hidden beneath the trees where no one could tease or belittle him, Carver studied nature and the "more he experimented, the more he learned." The narrative starts in 1921 with Carver addressing Congress on the importance of the peanut and impressing an audience of white men at a time when "African- Americans were…treated assecond-class citizens." Readers are then transported back to 1874, to the Missouri farm where Carver was born into slavery, and then to the end of slavery and the planting of his first garden. The narrative then focuses on Carver's determined search for education and finally his work as a teacher at the Tuskegee Institute. The beautiful oil on board illustrations show the wonder of young Carver as he contemplates the petals on a flower or the first green sprouts of spring. Barretta's prose, combined with Morrison's art, fully illuminates the depth of Carter's considerable contributions to the science of agriculture, the farming community, and racial equality. Back matter includes a time line of Carver's life, a bibliography, and suggestions for further reading. VERDICT A well-thought-out biography that highlights a different side of Carver and will be a first purchase for school and public library collections.--Suzanne Costner, Fairview Elementary School, Maryville, TN


Publisher's Weekly Review

Barretta opens this sensitive biography on a moment of triumph as Carver overcomes the scorn of a roomful of white congressmen in 1921. Told he has only 10 minutes to make his case, he enthralls them, then talks for another hour. A portrait by Morrison shows Carver leaving the chamber, glad to have "share what he knew." This incident anchors an exploration of his young life. Forbidden an education, Carver teaches himself by patient experimentation with flowers that he cultivates in secret "so no one could find them or tease him." Eventually, he becomes a local asset: "Here comes the Plant Doctor," neighbors say. Barretta explains why peanuts were crucial (cotton had exhausted the soil) and celebrates Carver's formidable success as peanuts become the South's most popular crop. "Regard Nature. Revere Nature. Respect Nature" were his prescient commands. Through myriad lush garden scenes and impressive portraiture by Morrison, Carver emerges as a generous figure, a "living folk hero," able to do whatever he set out to and "always ready to serve humanity." Ages 4--8. (Jan.)


Kirkus Review

George Washington Carver tended a secret garden of flowers before becoming known for his skill in agriculture.The book opens in 1921 as Carver addresses the U.S. Congress, astounding them with dozens of uses for the peanut. The narration then takes readers back to Carver's childhood to discover how he reached that career highlight. As a child, he loved flowers, but he was warned not to waste time on plants that couldn't be eaten or sold, so he kept his colorful garden hidden in the woods. Shut out of schools because he was black, he studied nature independently and learned through experimentation. Eventually, he started caring for neighbors' sick plants, becoming known as "the Plant Doctor." At 12, he left the farm on which he was raised and attained a formal education, after which he taught students at the Tuskegee Institute and farmers with a mobile classroom mounted on a wagon. This journey through Carver's childhood and accomplishments ends with Carver's simple but memorable words, "Regard Nature. Revere Nature. Respect Nature." The substantial text holds readers on each spread long enough to appreciate not only the subject matter of the painted illustrations, but Morrison's artistic techniquesstrong strokes and careful dots, artful combinations of textures and shapeswhich create lush forest scenes and portraitlike human faces and forms. The childhood story feels more cohesive than the final pages, which list his adult accomplishments but lack the narrative thread.Memorable art earns this biography a respectable place on the shelf. (timeline, bibliography, further reading) (Picture book/biography. 4-9) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.