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EconKids Home New Picture Books in 2010 (First Word A-I) In the Garden with Dr. Carver / by Susan Grigsby, Illustrated by Nicole Tadgell

In the Garden with Dr. Carver / by Susan Grigsby, Illustrated by Nicole Tadgell

 

Title:  In the Garden with Dr. Carver 
Author: Susan Grigsby
Illustrator:  Nicole Tadgell
Publisher: Albert Whitman & Co.
ISBN: 978-0-8075-3630-8
Year: 2010

Concepts: natural resources, innovation, invention, human resources

Review: Botanist and inventor George Washington Carver achieved professional acclaim with his scholarship in plant pathology and agriculture at the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama.  His strong desire to use hands-on methods in teaching farmers and mentoring children led him to travel across the South in a wagon specially equipped with extension materials and pulled by a mule.

Carver’s novel use of the movable school contributed to improved understanding of how alternative crops such as peanuts and sweet potatoes could improve soil quality and diversify people’s diets. As a highly educated and successful African American scientist, he also served as an important role model for children at a time of rampant discrimination and racial segregation.

This work of historical fiction presents young learners with a snapshot of George Washington Carver’s extension work with children.  Although the text and illustrations have a botanical focus, the story can motivate some useful economics-oriented discussions related to natural resources, innovation, and agricultural production. As one of the most famous African American inventors in U.S. history, Carver has left a rich legacy that is clearly presented in this appealing children’s book.

Review by: Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children

 

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