George Washington Carver Loved Plants (Little Naturalists)

by Kate Coombs (Author) Seth Lucas (Illustrator)

George Washington Carver Loved Plants (Little Naturalists)
Reading Level: K − 1st Grade

Introduce your brilliant baby to agricultural scientist, inventor, and environmentalist George Washington Carver.

George Washington Carver was born the son of a slave near the end of the Civil War. When he was a baby, he and his mother were kidnapped by raiders. His mother was never found, but he was brought home. His mother's owners became his foster parents, raising him and his older brother. As he grew, George worked many jobs and tried many schools to learn everything he could, eventually earning bachelor's and master's degrees in agriculture at Iowa State Agricultural College.

Then Booker T. Washington asked him to come teach at the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, an all-black college. George taught and researched there for many years, also creating educational outreach programs to help poor farmers use the land more productively to both take care of the earth and feed people. He is best known for his work with peanuts.

Kate Coombs' engaging narrative and Seth Lucas' captivating art teach young readers about this incredible inventor and environmentalist, encouraging little naturalists to Be Kind and Be Adventurous.

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School Library Journal

PreS-K--Carver and Maathai join other famous naturalists like Jane Goodall and Ansel Adams in this series for naturalists-in-the-making. Through rhymed and rhythmic verse, tots get a fairly good idea of why and how Carver and Maathai helped further our understanding of things that grow. Maathai earned a Nobel Peace Prize for her work to plant millions of trees after becoming alarmed by the rapid deforestation happening in her home country of Kenya. Through this effort, she was able to provide an income for the many poor women she employed. Carver's lifelong study of plants led to discovering the myriad ways peanuts could be used and an understanding of the importance of crop rotation. Lucas's illustrations are colorful, two dimensional, and include just enough visual details to convey big ideas. The text, while fairly brief and simple, conveys some of the most important aspects of each subject's life. And, while each of these naturalists accomplished so much more than what can be contained in this series, as beginning biographies for preschoolers carrying the implied message that taking care of our Earth is a worthy endeavor, this series works. VERDICT A great start for helping preschoolers begin to understand how one individual can affect the ways in which we think and act upon our natural world.--Maggie Chase, Boise State Univ., ID

Copyright 2021 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.
Kate Coombs

Kate Coombs is the author of numerous books for children, including Water Sings Blue, Breathe and Be: A Book of Mindfulness Poems, and the Little Naturalists board book series. She has taught K-12 as well as college and currently works as a reading specialist for students with dyslexia. Kate loves the trees in Sequoia National Park and the clouds over the valley in the western United States where she lives. For more, visit

Anna Emilia Laitinen studied graphic design and illustration in Finland and Iceland. She has illustrated books, stationery, tableware, and textiles. She is the illustrator of many children's books published in her native Finland, as well as Breathe and Be: A Book of Mindfulness Poems. Anna Emilia's favorite color is the northern winter sky during sunset, and her favorite sound is waking up in a tent in a forest full of singing birds. For more, visit

Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Publication date
August 20, 2021
Little Naturalists
BISAC categories
JNF007020 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Biography & Autobiography | Historical
JNF037020 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Science & Nature | Environmental Conservation & Protection
Library of Congress categories
Carver, George Washington
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