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Plants

The subject category of plants can be narrowed or expanded, depending on your predilections. Consider, for instance, if you want to include farming & gardening, life cycles, and algae & fungi. To spark your imagination, the following suggestions address even narrower sub-topics such as composting, the plants we eat, the relationships between plants and the environment, and the basic needs of plants.

See "Connecting Technology and Books" to find a selection of plant websites which complement these titles.

Adair, Gene. (1989) George Washington Carver: Botanist. Broomall: Chelsea House Publishers.
The life of botanist George Washington Carver, the Wizard of Tuskegee, wasn’t always an easy one, as this book shows. The biography traces Carver’s beginnings as a slave to his position of renowned and respected educator, researcher, agriculturalist, and scientist.


Azarian, Mary. (2000). A Gardener's Alphabet. New York: Houghton Mifflin.
The A to Z of gardens and gardening are gorgeously illustrated by Azarian's woodcuts.


Cassie, Brian and Burns, Marjorie. (1999). National Audubon First Field Guide: Trees. New York: Scholastic.
This first field guide for trees uses color photographs and information about shape and height, color and appearance of leaves, habitat and range to help you to identify fifty common North American trees.


Cole, Henry. (1995). Jack’s Garden. New York: HarperCollins.
Cole’s cumulative text describes what happens after Jack plants his garden. Framed detailed illustrations complement and expand the text.


Gibbons, Gail. (1988). Farming. New York: Holiday House.
Gibbons’ seasonal approach to farming illustrates how the farms look in the different seasons while also showing how the weather determines the work that is done on the farm, both inside and out.


Glaser, Linda. (1996). Compost! Growing Gardens From Your Garbage. Brookfield: The Millbrook Press.
The cycle of garbage to compost to garden and back to garbage is introduced in this book for the young reader. A young narrator explains the process.


Hood, Susan. (1998). National Audubon First Field Guide: Wildflowers. New York: Scholastic.
Beautiful color photographs of fifty common North American wildflowers are accompanied by details about their identifying features. Also includes a reference section and a spotter’s guide.


Hughes, Meredith Sayles. (2001). Hard to Crack: Nut Trees. Minneapolis: Lerner Publishing Group.
This book, which focuses on nuts, is part of the Plants We Eat series; the series uses drawings, photographs, diagrams, fact boxes, recipes, activities, and informative text to describe how the plants migrated, how they grow, their uses, and their roles worldwide.
Other titles in the series, by Hughes, are: Green Power: Leaf & Flower Vegetables (2001), Flavor Foods: Spices & Herbs (2000), Tall & Tasty: Fruit Trees (2000), Yes, We Have Bananas! Fruits from Shrubs & Vines (1999), Spill the Beans & Pass the Peanuts (1999), Stinky & Stringy: Stem & Bulb Vegetables (1998). Meredith Hughes has also co-authored the following titles with husband Thomas E. Hughes: Cool as a Cucumber, Hot as a Pepper: Fruit Vegetables (1998), Glorious Grasses: The Grains (1998), and Buried Treasure: Roots & Tubers (1998). All of the titles are from the Lerner Publishing Group.


Lavies, Bianca. (1993). Compost Critters. New York: Penguin Putnam.
There is a lot of life in every compost pile as Lavies discovered when she observed and photographed her own backyard compost pile.


Lin, Grace. (1999). The Ugly Vegetables. Watertown: Charlesbridge Publishing.
A young girl thinks her mother’s vegetable garden is the ugly duckling of the neighborhood gardens. But her opinion changes when the garden yields Chinese vegetables and a soup so delicious that her neighbors plant those same Chinese vegetables the following spring. (Also look for Seedfolks by Paul Fleischman 1999, New York: HarperCollins and Wanda’s Roses by Pat Brisson, 2000, Honesdale: Boyds Mills Press.)


Maass, Robert. (1998). Garden. New York: Henry Holt and Co.
No two gardens are alike, as Maass illustrates beautifully with his striking photographs.


Meltzer, Milton. (1998). Food: How We Hunt and Gather It, How We Grow and Eat It, How We Buy and Sell It, How We Preserve and Waste It, and How Some Have Too Much and Others Have Too Little of It. Brookfield: The Millbrook Press.
The title sums up this in-depth look at food, past and present.


Paladino, Catherine. (1999). One Good Apple: Growing Our Food for the Sake of the Earth. New York: Houghton Mifflin.
Paladino's book examines food from a different angle as it focuses on issues related to organic farming, the dangers of pesticides and pesticide-free living.


Pfeffer, Wendy. (1997). A Log’s Life. New York: Simon & Schuster.
You’ll be amazed by Brickman’s realistic illustrations and Pfeffer’s lyrical description of the life cycle of a tree.


Rockwell, Anne. (1999). One Bean. New York: Walker & Company.
Follow along with the young characters in this book as they observe, firsthand, the life cycle of one bean. (For more on plant development try From Seed to Plant by Gail Gibbons 1991, New York: Holiday House and How a Seed Grows by Helen J. Jordan 2000, New York: HarperCollins.)






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This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 9912078. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.