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News & Reviews

The Story of Wilma Dykeman

Writer, Historian, Environmentali


A TRUE TALE WITH

A CHERRY ON TOP


Reycraft Books

(pub. 4.16.2024)

32 pages

Ages 7 -12


Author: Shannon Hitchcock

   Illustrator: Sophie Page


Character: Wilma Dykeman


Overview:


" Wilma Dykeman dedicated her life to imparting the invaluable lesson that water is the irreplaceable gift of life. Uncover the environmental insights she shared, leaving a lasting impact on generations to come. Follow Wilma's transformative relationship with a local river, where her deep love for the water sparks a mission to safeguard its vitality. Discover how her advocacy became a beacon of hope for both the river and the livelihoods that depended on its flowing currents."


Tantalizing taste:


"A New York publisher agreed to buy the book, but only if Wilma ignored the poison being dumped in the river. The girl who had splashed in the pond, waded in the creek, and who cherished the river refused to back down.


Wilma wanted to shine a bright light on water pollution.


She hoped to inspire: people, towns, businesses, everyone to help clean up the river."


And something more: The author, Shannon Hitchcock, shared in the Author's Note: "Wilma grew up as an only child surrounded by mountains. She credited her father for her love of nature and traced her love of language to the stories her parents read aloud to her. By the time she attended elementary school, Wilma was writing her own poems, plays, and stories."

Bias, Truth, and a Mighty Moose!


A TRUE TALE WITH

A CHERRY ON TOP


Calkins Creek

(Astra Books for Young Readers)

(pub. 5.14.2024)

48 pages

Ages 7 -10


Author: Beth Anderson

   Illustrator: Jeremy Holmes


Character: Thomas Jefferson's


Overview:


" Young Thomas Jefferson loved to measure the natural world: plants and animals, mountains and streams, crops and weather. With a notepad in his pocket, he constantly examined, experimented, and explored. He dreamed of making great discoveries like the well-known scientific author, Count Georges-Louis Leclerc de Buffon.


But when Buffon published an encyclopedia of the natural world, Jefferson was furious! According to the French count, America was cold and swampy, and filled with small and boring animals, nothing like the majestic creatures of the OId World. Jefferson knew Buffon had never even been to America. Where had Buffon gotten his information? Had he cherry-picked the facts to suit his arguments? Was he biased in favor of Europe?


How could Jefferson prove Buffon wrong? By using scientific inquiry, of course! This first picture book to emphasize Jefferson’s use of scientific methods is an accessible and entertaining approach to a lesser-known side of Jefferson."


Tantalizing taste:


"EGADS!

A stench as mighty as the MOOSE!

A FEW DAYS LATER, a colossal box arrived - with a monstrous stench.

Thomas peered at the moose. Not magnificent, but BIG. He sent it off, with apologies for the moose's hair and mismatched antlers."


And something more: Beth Anderson explains in the Author's Note: "As an amateur scientist, Jefferson understood how a limited amount of information and unreliable sources created mistruths. He understood how easily people were fooled when these ideas came from someone with power and authority. He also understood how hard it was to get rid of misinformation once it spread. Buffon's ideas took more than a century to completely fade away."

Updated: Jun 25

The Cinderella Story

of Caroline Herschel -

The First Professional Woman Astronomer


A TRUE TALE WITH

A CHERRY ON TOP


Chronicle Books

(pub. 3.5.2024)

60 pages

Ages 5 - 8


Author: Pamela Turner

   Illustrator: Vivien Mildenberger


Character: Caroline Herschel


Overview:


" In a day when girls were barely educated at all, Caroline Herschel's father taught her math and music . . . until, suddenly, he died. Her mother saw her as little more than a household servant. Caroline might have been doomed to a life of drudgery and dimness if not for her brother, who took her from Germany to England. There they started looking for comets, and building telescopes in their free time, gradually making them larger and larger. Their many discoveries brought the great astronomers of the day to their doorstep, where they found that the Herschels had made the best telescopes of their time.


From household drudge to belle of the scientific ball, Caroline Herschel won international prizes never before awarded to a woman and earned a professional wage from the king. She and her discoveries remain as stunning today as they were then. In this delightfully imaginative retelling of Caroline's career, her fairy godmother is none other than her own bright intelligence, hard work, and passion for science."


Tantalizing taste:


"The next day, it rained. Caroline worried.

Would it be too cloudy to see her object again?


Light faded into darkness. The clouds drifted

away, and the sky unfolded its wonders. Caroline

found the glowing light again and measured its

position. It had moved since the night before.


It must be a comet!


Too excited to sleep, Caroline

wrote to other astronomers asking

them to confirm her discovery."


And something more: The back matter explains that "if William and Caroline lived in our times, any scientific papers based on their joint efforts would carry both their names. But in the eighteenth century, it was taken for granted that William was the scientist and Caroline was merely his assistant, despite her expert mathematical and astronomical skills...


Even in old age, Caroline continued to advance the science of astronomy. She created several catalogs showing the positions of thousands of stars, star clusters, and nebulae. Caroline's work was so precise that some of her catalogs are still in use today."


Where to find Jeanne Walker Harvey books

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