Tag Archives: perseverance

The Secret Garden of George Washington Carver

“The Secret Garden of George Washington Carver”

George Washington Carver’s tale begins in a secret garden that he kept as a child. Exploring the woods to discover something new, young George studied nature on his own. 

No matter how much others tried to discourage him, George grew his flower garden, experimenting and learning. He wanted to share what he learned with others. Soon he became known as “the Plant Doctor.” 

At age twelve, he left his home and attended many schools to study agriculture and art. In 1896, George becomes the first Black man to graduate from Iowa Agricultural College with a master’s degree. During his life, George experiments with new crops, particularly the peanut. He develops over three hundred uses for the peanut. Check out this book to learn more about George Washington Carver’s life.

At the back of the book is a timeline of George Washington Carver’s life with further reading recommendations and a bibliography.

The gorgeous illustrations entrap the reader within George’s world.

This book promotes creative components of a creative person, courage, perseverance, and inventiveness.

WHY I LIKE THIS BOOK:  I like this book because it shows rather than tells the story of George through word painting and illustrations. 

TITLE: The Secret Garden of George Washington Carver

AUTHOR: Gene Barretta

ILLUSTRATOR: Frank Morrison

PUBLISHER: Katherine Tegen Books, 2020


TOPIC(S): biography of George Washington Carver

CREATIVE COMPONENTS: creative person, courage, perseverance, inventive


1) Plant a garden filled with vegetables that you enjoy eating.

2) Care for a plant in your home. Try experimenting with sunlight by placing the plant in different windows. See which light source helps your plant grow best. 

3) Design an experiment to grow a plant, and then do it. What were your results? How might you redesign the experiment to grow more plants?


To learn more about author Gene Barretta visit:

To learn more about illustrator Frank Morrison visit:


Born to Draw Comics: The Story of Charles Schultz and the Creation of Peanuts

Born to Draw Comics: The Story of Charles Schultz and the Creation of Peanuts

Charles Schultz, nicknamed Sparky, grew up in Minnesota. He longed to be a professional cartoonist. After visiting a comic strip art exhibit at St. Paul Public Library with his parents, Sparky was more determined than ever. He ripped up all his drawings and began new sketches. He submitted a drawing of his dog Spike, which was published in newspapers. 

After high school, Sparky received many rejection letters but he didn’t stop drawing. After serving in the war, Sparky started drawing cartoons that involved round faced kids that became Li’l Folks and would then later develop into Peanuts.

This book promotes creative components of a creative person, passion, and perseverance.

WHY I LIKE THIS BOOK:  I like this book because Snoopy is one of my favorite characters. I couldn’t pass up reading about the cartoonist who brought Snoopy to life. Readers will be inspired by Charles Schultz’s life story to pursue their passions while learning about the evolution of Peanuts.

TITLE: Born to Draw Comics: The Story of Charles Schultz and the Creation of Peanuts

AUTHOR: Ginger Wadsworth


PUBLISHER: Christy Ottaviano Books, 2019


TOPIC(S): biography of Charles Schultz, Peanuts comic strip

CREATIVE COMPONENTS: creative person, passion, perseverance


1) Remember a silly thing that happened to you. Draw a comic strip about that silly event using your favorite animal as the main character.

2) Charles Schultz was determined. Even as a child he wanted his drawings to be better, so he practiced and practiced. What is one thing that you would like to get better at? In what ways might you get better? Pick two choices and take action.

3) Who is your favorite Peanuts character and why? How are you like that character?


To learn more about author Ginger Wadsworth visit:


To learn more about illustrator Craig Orback visit:


The Dance of the Violin

The Dance of the Violin”

From the time he was very young, Joshua Bell loved music.

He hears stories in songs and envisions them in his head as he plays his violin.

Joshua begs to compete at a competition for more experienced musicians.

He chooses a piece of music, which his teacher suggests is too difficult, but Joshua is determined. At the competition, Joshua begins to play, and almost immediately, he makes a mistake, then another and another.

He stops playing. As he is about to walk off the stage, he asks the judges if he could try again. They agree. This time, instead of focusing on playing perfectly, Joshua envisions the song story in his head and plays seamlessly.

Based on a true story, at age twelve, Joshua Bell competed and placed third at Stulberg International String Competition in Kalamazoo, his first competition. He was one of the youngest musicians there. The next year he placed first.

This book promotes traits of a creative person, originality, passionate, perseverance, and creative talent.

TITLE: The Dance of the Violin

AUTHOR: Kathy Stinson

ILLUSTRATOR: Dušan Petričić

PUBLISHER: Annick Press Ltd., 2017


CREATIVE COMPONENTS: creative person, originality, passionate, creative talent, perseverance


1) How do you learn from making a mistake? How might you inspire others to learn from their mistakes?

2) What is something that you love doing? How might you share your interest with others?

3) Listen to this clip of Joshua Bell’s violin playing.


Imagine you are the conductor. How would you move your body to conduct Joshua Bell? 


To learn more about author Kathy Stinson, visit:


To learn more about illustrator Dušan Petričić, visit:


To learn more about Joshua Bell, visit: