From School Library Journal
Grade 4-6?Ross profiles two remarkable scientists who succeeded in their fields despite the racial and gender prejudices of the early 20th century. Turner, one of the few African Americans in his day to earn a doctorate (in zoology) was noted for his research on insect behavior. Eastwood was a self-taught botanist in an era when science was considered an inappropriate pursuit for women. She gained renown for her intrepid explorations of remote areas of Colorado and California, where she collected and identified plants, and for her books on the flora of these regions. A mix of assorted black-and-white reproductions and watercolor paintings of flora and fauna appear on about every other page. Many of the photos are not dated. For the most part, the texts are competently written; however, some information is oversimplified. For instance, the text of Bug Watching consistently uses the unscientific term "bug" instead of the correct terms, "insect" or "spider," even after the correct terms are defined. Use of such imprecise terms does not match the predominantly straightforward text. Scientific miscellanea is juxtaposed with the main texts in beige-colored inserts designed to look like torn pages from an old notebook. The majority of them are only marginally relevant. Neither of these books attempts to be a definitive biography of its subject (both scientists appear to be near saints in character), but rather to provide overviews of their lives and accomplishments. Flower Watching will be the more useful title as it is more clearly written.?Karey Wehner, San Francisco Public Library
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Kirkus Reviews
A well-researched biography of a lesser-known scientist, complete with project ideas that extend the book's usefulness. In the same format as Flower Watching (p. 1712), this entry in the Naturalist's Apprentice series combines biographical information--this time on the life and work of entomologist Charles Henry Turner (18671823)--with tips and activities, all expertly illustrated by Caple. Turner's story is one of overcoming obstacles and prejudices as the only African-American in his college class, the first to serve on the faculty of his university, and the first to be elected a member of the St. Louis Academy of Science. Genuinely inspiring are the details of Turner's experiments on the web-building instinct and intelligence of spiders, the homing of ants, the color-blindness of bees. Charts, mazes, and diagrams shed light on Turner's approach as well as provide clear directions on how to replicate insect experiments, along with a list of supplies needed. Insect enthusiasts can investigate whether bees can tell time by setting up a flower schedule and can test the learning abilities of cockroaches and caterpillars by observing them in a maze constructed of building blocks. Bugs are distinguished from insects at the outset, and precise drawings and insets offer background information on the specific subjects of Turner's studies. (glossary, index) (Biography. 8-11) -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.