Maya loves contests, so she is excited when her teacher announces they will plant a school garden like Thomas Jefferson's garden at Monticello--and they'll have a "First Peas to the Table" contest, just like Jefferson and his neighbors had each spring. Maya plants her pea seeds with a secret head start--found in Jefferson's Garden Book--and keeps careful notes in her garden journal. But her friend Shakayla has plans of her own for the contest...Susan Grigsby's light-hearted classroom story also presents ...
Maya loves contests, so she is excited when her teacher announces they will plant a school garden like Thomas Jefferson's garden at Monticello--and they'll have a "First Peas to the Table" contest, just like Jefferson and his neighbors had each spring. Maya plants her pea seeds with a secret head start--found in Jefferson's Garden Book--and keeps careful notes in her garden journal. But her friend Shakayla has plans of her own for the contest...Susan Grigsby's light-hearted classroom story also presents scientific and historical information. Nicole Tadgell's watercolors add both appeal and botanical accuracy.
Have you ever planted a garden? In this delightful story, the children in Ms. Garcia's class plant a garden that is inspired by Thomas Jefferson's garden at Monticello. What could be better than following in Jefferson?s footsteps and becoming a green thumb in the process? Maya and her best friend, Shakayla, are excited about the contest to "bring the first peas to the table." When the great pea race begins, both girls are determined to win. Maya studies a nickel with Jefferson's picture on the front and thinks it will bring her good luck. But soon the children discover that growing a garden involves diligence, care, and a bit of luck. Maya cannot wait for her peas to grow, but the garden requires patience. But Shakayla has a natural green thumb, and she wins the contest to the delight of her classmates. By the end of this story, Maya realizes that some things are worth waiting for, including peas. Young readers will enjoy this fun and entertaining historical book. Reviewer: Suzanna E. Henshon, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
Gr 1–3—Shakayla and Maya learn that this year's class garden project will be a contest to see who can plant peas and bring in the first bowl of shelled peas. The contest originated with Thomas Jefferson among his fellow Virginia farmers, and both girls have great plans to win the competition. This beautifully illustrated story has a mixture of both fiction and facts about the life cycle of peas. Readers learn how the growing process has not really changed since Jefferson's day. Vivid watercolor artwork documents it, beginning with packets of seed and proceeding to planting, watering, staking, and the crowning of the contest winner. The vibrant front and back pages summarize the progress, and an afterword tells more about Jefferson's interest in agriculture. Teachers will find a multitude of ways to use this book and this team's In the Garden with Dr. Carver (Albert Whitman, 2010).—Janene Corbin, Rosebank Elementary School, Nashville, TN
When Ms. Garcia's students emulate Thomas Jefferson and his "first peas to the table" contest, will it bring out the best or the worst in two friends? With Jefferson's garden as a model for their own class plot, Ms. Garcia's students start learning about his agricultural experiments as they prepare to participate in their own contest. Begun by Jefferson and his friends, the neighborly challenge allowed the winner to present his bowl of peas at a dinner. Twenty seeds and a small pot allow the students to get a head start on their gardening at home. Meanwhile, at school, they make garden journals, learn about composting and divide their garden up into three sections--roots, fruits and leaves. Narrator Maya and her friend Shakayla take the competition especially seriously, but the two have very different ideas and methods for growing their peas. Grigsby's narrative flows well and strikes a good balance among Maya's account, pea/gardening facts, the scientific method and a history lesson. Tadgell's watercolors support this, using both full-page spreads and smaller, inset illustrations of the racially diverse students and their garden, as well as some from Jefferson's day. The pea vines are appropriately twisty, while the pea blossoms exhibit their trademark paper-like texture. History, science and a guidance lesson all rolled into one, this could surely be the spark for many a school garden. (Picture book. 6-10)
Susan Grigsby lives in St. Louis, MO. She teaches poetry writing in schools, gardens, and nature centers. With her husband and their youngest son, David, she tends a garden large enough to feed her family, share with the neighborhood, and satisfy roaming critters.
When Nicole Tadgell was studying art in college, she realized illustrating children's books could be her life path. Nicole has illustrated fourteen books, including Lucky Beans by Becky Birtha and In the Garden with Dr. Carver, also by Susan Grigsby. To get a feel for each book, she pretends she's the child in the story, and does the things the child does. She lives in Spencer, Massachusetts, with her boys; husband, Mark; and border terrier, Boomer. nicoletadgell.com