From School Library Journal
Grade 3-6–An attractive picture-book biography, this slim, oversize volume is as much a treat for the eye as it is for the curious mind. Smiths crisp, realistic paintings, often flooded with the bright green of pea plants, accompany Bardoes readable text describing a scientist whose physical and educational needs led him to the religious life, but whose curiosity about inherited traits caused him to become the father of genetics. Bright diagrams clearly depict Mendels famous plants, the internal arrangement of their seeds, and the results of carefully controlled experiments in cross-breeding with certain traits firmly in mind. An extensive authors note presents further information. This eye-catching picture-book biography falls nicely into a field that already includes the complexities of Peter Síss fascinating The Tree of Life
(Farrar, 2003), Michael Doolings handsome Young Thomas Edison
(Holiday House, 2005), James Cross Giblins eloquent Thomas Jefferson
(Scholastic, l994), and Diane Stanleys attractive Leonardo da Vinci
(Morrow, 1996).–Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Gr. 2-4. Smith's watercolors give this biography of the first geneticist an appropriately bucolic feel, especially those that picture the dedicated, bespectacled Mendel in his gardens laboring over willowy pea plants. Other pictures follow Mendel from his studious, enterprising youth to his decision to become a friar, a profession that helped him "feed his body, mind, and soul" and enabled him, between teaching, preaching, and ministering to the sick, to pursue his desire to make a great discovery. That he was unable to convince nineteenth-century scientists that he did, indeed, discover a "universal law that would apply to all living things" brought an end to his scientific endeavors, though as Bardoe indicates, his discoveries, resurrected years after his death, have profoundly influenced our world. Easy-to-understand graphs show the results of Mendel's experiments, which, along with his theories, are clearly explained. Published in association with the Field Museum in Chicago, this visually pleasing book works as a fine source of introductory information on both the man and the science he pioneered. Stephanie ZvirinCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved