The Friar Who Grew Peas
Review posted July 15, 2013.
Abrams Books for Young Readers, Published in association with the Field Museum, 2006. 36 pages.
I heard about this book during a recent Nonfiction Monday. I always love picture book biographies. Unfortunately, they tend to get lost on our library's shelves. We have adult and children's nonfiction filed together, by subject. But kids don't tend to browse the Biographies. They go there if they want to find out about a specific person. Picture Book Biographies, however, are not for doing reports. They are for hearing a story about an interesting or inspiring person. All the more reason to review this book!
Gregor Mendel was the one who discovered the laws of genetics. This book simply tells about his life in poverty, his thirst for knowledge, and his painstaking procedure to discover what would happen when he cross-bred different varieties of pea plants with specific characteristics. It explains the laws of genetics he discovered in surprisingly simple ways, with clear diagrams.
This book has enough information that you could use it for a report. But I hope that some children get turned on to the topic or simply enjoy the story of this dedicated scientist's life.