10 Plants that Shook the World

Plants might start out as leafy things growing in the earth, but they can come into our lives in unexpected ways. And believe it or not, some have even played an exciting role in our world’s history.

How Does My Garden Grow?

Sophie lives in the city, and her vegetables come from the supermarket. Then she goes to visit her grandparents in the countryside — and soon discovers how much there is to learn about how things grow! Sophie helps her grandfather through the different seasons, finding out about mulching onions, eating flowers, weeding, bees, making salad, catching beetles, digging, earthing up, picking and composting. When winter comes, Sophie has to go home — but her grandfather has one last surprise for her.

Little Pear Tree

Watch a tiny seed grow through the seasons into a fine pear tree with this beautifully-presented book.

A Year Around The Great Oak

OakBenjamin and Anna love staying with their cousin Robin in his house near the forest. In the autumn, Robin takes them to see his favourite tree–a giant oak that is 300 years old. The children build a den under the oak tree’s giant branches and watch the squirrels hide acorns in its wide trunk.

In the winter they ski through the forest and meet the foresters who chose which trees will become firewood this year–but not their beautiful oak tree!

In the spring the children go searching for badgers and see many animals that live in the forest–nesting birds, gentle deer and shy rabbits. One night, the tree helps Benjamin when he discovers a creature he didn’t expect. How can the children say thank you?

The Plant Hunters

Driven by an all-consuming passion, the plant hunters traveled around the world, facing challenges at every turn: tropical illnesses, extreme terrain, and dangerous animals.  They battled piranhas, tigers, and vampire bats.  Even the plants themselves could be lethal!  But these intrepid eighteenth and nineteenth century explorers were determined to find and collect new and unusual specimens, no matter what the cost.  Then they tried to transport the plants- and themselves- home alive.  Creating an important legacy in science, medicine, and agriculture, the plant hunters still inspire the scientific and environmental work of contemporary plant enthusiasts.

Working from primary sources–journals, letters and notes from the field– Anita Silvey introduces us to these daring adventures and scientists.  She takes readers into the heart of their expeditions to then-uncharted places such as the Amazon basin, China and India.  As she brings a colorful cast of characters to life, she shows what motivated these Indiana Jones-type heroes.  In The Plant Hunters, science, history, and adventure have been interwoven to tell a largely forgotten- yet fascinating- story.

The Crossing

This young, lyrical picture book reveals the adventure and natural wonders that Lewis and Clark encountered on their Western expedition in the early 1800s. Told from the point of view of Jean Baptiste Charbonneau, the baby on Sacagawea’s back, this story offers a fresh perspective of a young country and gives voice to a character readers will already be familiar with–at least visually (the baby is shown on the golden Sacagawea dollar).