The Little Plant Doctor: A Story About George Washington Carver

Jean Marzollo, illus. by Ken Wilson-Max. Holiday House, $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8234-2325-5
Marzollo's gentle biography of botanist Carver is told from the perspective of a tree that bears witness to his early fascination with plant life. Wilson-Max paints Carver's childhood garden with broad, smudgy shapes and thick outlines, as Carver laments that he isn't allowed to attend school with white children. But after studying plants and learning to read, he goes off to school and makes a name for himself. The framing device isn't entirely successful; key conversations have to be held within earshot (leafshot?) of the tree, and its "knowledge" of the world is inconsistent (it doesn't know what a president is, but discusses Carver's work at the Tuskegee Institute). Readers aren't likely to gain a true sense of his accomplishments through the tree's limited point of view. Ages 4–8. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 03/28/2011
Release date: 04/01/2011
Genre: Children's
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