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Gregor Mendel: The Friar Who Grew Peas Hardcover – September 1, 2006


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Editorial Reviews

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.

From Booklist

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 Zvirin
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 4
  • Lexile Measure: 1030L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Harry N. Abrams (September 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810954753
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810954755
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 0.4 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #128,637 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 13 customer reviews
This is a great basic book to explain genetics and Mendel's life.
L. White
I found this book to be well-written and informative, and the information and story are well presented: it's interesting to the reader to follow Mendel's thinking.
Ohioan
Recommended for parents, teachers, and their science-hungry kids!
DJ Joe Sixpack

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Lisa S. Bircher on January 18, 2011
Format: Hardcover
In this book, Bardoe develops a creative text that re-tells the story of the life of the great Gregor Mendel and his seminal studies on pea plants that led to the development of modern genetics understanding. The book contains beautiful illustrations by Jos. A. Smith that complement and expand upon the text. When I read this book for the first time, I was so excited, I purchased it immediately. I am a high school biology teacher and I could easily see how valuable this text would be for teaching about Mendel in my unit on genetics. For the past several years, I have read this text aloud to my high school (10th grade) students in both my honors biology course as well as my general biology course. My students appreciate learning more about Gregor Mendel; more than they get from the text book coverage of the topic. I especially enjoy the description of Mendel's early life and how he basically worked his way out of poverty through his schooling and later association with the Abbey of St. Thomas in Brno.

I really like the way that Bardoe speaks in language that is not condescending or patronizing. Actually, many of my biology students ask me upon completion of reading whether this book really is a "child's book?" The writing includes direct quotes from Mendel and detailed description of his experimental method with the pea plants. I love using this book so much in my biology classes and I hope that Bardoe will consider writing similar texts about some of the other great historic scientists like Charles Darwin or Linnaeus or maybe even a contemporary like Jane Goodall. I am sure whatever and however Bardoe writes, it will be fantastic and very useful for teachers like me who love to read aloud in the science classroom!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Ana Braga-Henebry VINE VOICE on September 24, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Everything in this picture book is wonderful: the illustrations, the tone of the text, the amount of biographical and scientific information. This will serve as a fabulous introduction to Mendel's innovative scientific work on genetics for a 5th or 6th grader's science curriculum, or for just general family's enjoyment!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on November 5, 2006
Format: Hardcover
How does genetics work? Gregor Mendle was fascinated by passed-along traits all his life, and overcame poverty to found the science of genetics. He lived the life of a friar and put together an experiment involving growing multiple generations of peas. Kids in grades 3-4 will delight in a true biography that reads with the excitement of fiction.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By L. White on June 24, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a great basic book to explain genetics and Mendel's life. Super diagrams. Great for early science reports...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Lee Montgomery on July 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Written at an easy to read elementary level, this book presents the monumental scientific discoveries of Gregor Mendel in an accurate narrative that can be enjoyed and understood by children. We need more books like this to inspire the next generation of scientists to make the world a better place.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Deb Nam-Krane VINE VOICE on December 28, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Both the illustrations and the text paint a clear but optimistic picture of the life of Gregor Mendel, the pioneer of genetic research. We learn that Mendel was always interested not only in how things grew the way they did but also general math and science. Most adults, I believe, hear the word "friar" and assume he was a religious office holder who fell into science. Through this biography, we learn that he was a scientist who fell into a religious career as a way of financing his scientific studies.

The descriptions of his initial experiments and the results were clear and easy to understand. My 6 year old sons, while a little on the young side for this book, were curious about the illustrations of the peas. My husband and I found it fascinating.

Recommended for ages 7 and up as a primer for learning about both scientific history and genetics.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Pellerine on December 31, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Brilliant book promoting a sense of scientific inquiry from Mendel's own senses of curiosity that helped discover how we get our recessive and dominant traits - via genes.

The illustrations are brilliant and the text very mature aimed at the confident reader, or as a read from an adult. In the healthiest way possible I think it will test a child's attention span as well as a lot of the concepts will "probably" be new, well they will be new to the average child.

Brilliant book - eat your peas!
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