Rose Nichols The Garden Girl by Mary R. Dunn
September 28, 2011 in Books with Science Content, Books with Science Content, Books With Social Studies Content, Dunn Mary R., Elementary Educators, Helping Girls and Women Around the World, Making Personal Connections, Personal Connections, Picture Book, Preschool to 1st grade teachers, Reading Skills Tags: picture book about plants, picture book biography
*Picture book biography for preschoolers through 2nd graders
*Young girl as main character
*Rating: Mary R. Dunn’s book, Rose Nichols: The Garden Girl is a beautifully illustrated picture book (illustrations by Aisling Kiernan) that tells the sweet, true story of Rose Nichols, a famous Boston woman who was ahead of her time in the field of landscaping. I can’t wait to share this with my baby girl!
Short, short summary: Rose was born in 1872 in Boston. As a young child, she was interested in gardening. Her grandpa gave her a small plot of land near his garden. When she was 19, she planned a garden at her parents’ summer home. Rose wanted to study to become a garden designer, but back then, women didn’t study for jobs. Rose didn’t let that stop her. The author goes on to tell readers about how Rose became famous for planning gardens, and she studied in Europe. Throughout her life, she helped many people–and not just with their landscaping either.
So what do I do with this book?
1. Plan a garden–either real or imaginary. Students can make a garden map like they see in the book. If you are able to execute your plan, that is great!
2. Rose followed her interests and dreams. First discuss this idea with students. Then ask students what their hobbies are. Also ask them what their dreams are. See if the two connect. Older students can write about the two.
3. Take some time to enjoy the watercolor illustrations and all the paintings of the beautiful flowers. Students will learn about different flowers from this book. Ask them which painting they like the best and why. You can ask them the same question about the flowers, too. (This would also be a great book to share with children during a science unit on plants or an art unit on watercolor!)