One of the most incredible and persevering stories to start off 2020. I now know more about George Washington Carver than I ever learned in school. Barretta provides us with a holistic background into the life of GWC, one that shows that determination and passion can start at any age. The illustrations will pull you in, the story will make you stay and marvel at this steadfast voice for conservation.
— Lindsay A.
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. This nonfiction picture book is an excellent choice to share during homeschooling, in particular for children ages 4 to 6. It’s a fun way to learn to read and as a supplement for activity books for children.
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.
About the Author
Gene Barretta is an award-winning author and illustrator of children's books. He is the recipient of the Carolyn W. Field Award and the Bank Street Cook Prize Honor. His books include Lincoln and Kennedy: A Pair to Compare, Now & Ben: The Modern Inventions of Benjamin Franklin, Dear Deer: A Book of Homophones, and Muhammad Ali. Gene has contributed illustrations and animation to Sesame Street and Between the Lions. He has also designed characters for the Jim Henson Company. He lives in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania. You can visit him online at www.genebarretta.com.
Frank Morrison is the award-winning illustrator of many books for young readers, including Jazzy Miz Mozetta by Brenda C. Roberts, winner of the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award for New Talent; Katheryn Russell-Brown's Little Melba and Her Big Trombone, a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor book; and Gene Barretta's Muhammad Ali. Before becoming a children's book illustrator and fine artist, Morrison toured the globe as a break-dancer. He lives in Georgia with his family. You can visit him online at www.morrisongraphics.com.
"An expressive picture book... Barretta creates a strong impression of Carver’s delight in nature, drive to learn, and sense of purpose. The oil paintings by Morrison, a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor recipient, reinforce those impressions with glorious scenes of the woodland garden and sensitive, dignified portrayals of Carver." — Booklist (starred review)
"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… A well-thought-out biography that highlights a different side of Carver and will be a first purchase for school and public library collections." — School Library Journal (starred review)
"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 techniques—strong strokes and careful dots, artful combinations of textures and shapes... Memorable art earns this biography a respectable place on the shelf. " — Kirkus Reviews
"Barretta opens this sensitive biography on a moment of triumph as Carver overcomes the scorn of a roomful of white congressmen in 1921... 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.”" — Publishers Weekly