A World of Plants by Martin Jenkins, illustrated by James Brown


A World of Plants by Martin Jenkins, illustrated by James Brown. Candlewick Studio, 2021. 9781536215328

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5

What did you like about the book? This stunning book is an introduction to all the facets of growing things: how plants evolved, their biology and propagation, habitats, pollination and behaviors. Some unusual topics are also covered, such as plants which are considered sacred by different cultures and religions, and the top ten plants that feed the world. Always popular is a section on carnivorous plants. Activists will be satisfied with sections on endangered plant species (1 in 5 plant species is endangered!) and sustainable farming.

The writing style is conversational, while retaining scientific concepts and terms. Occasionally, a bit of playfulness creeps in, such as the section titled the “Wood-Wide Web,” which talks about interactions between plants and different species of living things. I found the sections on plant evolution and defenses against getting eaten really fascinating. The book’s design is lovely and graphically sophisticated and suited to its tall size – each spread contains text on one side and illustrations (diagrams, plant depictions, schematics) on the other, with floral border patterns. Each spread has a different two-color palette, and the digital art makes a wonderful use of tones. There is a table of contents.

Anything you didn’t like about it? No list of sources or index.

To whom would you recommend this book?  For ages 8 and up. It’s a lovely coffee table book as well as solid non fiction.

Who should buy this book? Elementary school and public libraries

Where would you shelve it ? 580

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? A yes for non fiction lovers.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Stephanie Tournas, Robbins Library, Arlington, MA

Date of review: July 10, 2021

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