From School Library Journal
Grade 3-5-She loved the woods, built a summer cottage in Maine, wrote about the ocean, and finally published her landmark book about the poisonous pesticides killing wildlife. Ehrlich skims a few highlights of Carson's life and work, sometimes poetically. "A transparent, elongated paramecium drifted slowly across the microscope's field.-In that simple one-celled organism she saw the complexity of the universe." The author focuses on Carson's love of nature and writing, but her life seems uneventful. The dozen dated and sketchy episodes begin with a childhood scene in 1912, then touch on teenage and college years, and skip from a 1929 bit of research at Woods Hole to 1945 when Carson edited documents for the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries. Though the biologist doesn't come to life in the text, Minor's fine watercolor-and-gouache paintings provide splendid full- and double-page views of various settings and credible portraits. While the spare narrative may be somewhat nebulous for primary-grade readers, it might serve as an evocative introduction for slightly older children. The epilogue, dating Carson's death and crediting her with starting the environmental movement, mentions Maine's Rachel Carson Wildlife Preserve.Margaret Bush, Simmons College, Boston
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 2-4. This handsome picture-book biography introduces children to the pioneer nature writer and activist, whose books, such as Silent Spring
(1962), did so much to start today's environmental movement. There are gaps in the story, especially about Carson's personal life, but Ehrlich's lyrical prose grounds the big ideas in particulars that children can relate to--the small things that reveal the complexity of the universe. The focus is on Carson's warnings about the poisons that were everywhere, "on the grasses that cows ate, and in their milk and meat, and in our own bodies, too"; the horror of poison spray that kills "birds and grasshoppers, butterflies and bees, and fish in the rivers." Minor's full-page paintings in watercolor and gouache capture the broad sweep of the land as well as the tiny connections in the woods and in the sea around us. Young ecologists will find support here, and they will be inspired to find out more about Carson and the great spaces she explored. Hazel RochmanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved