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Review of Karl, Get Out of the Garden!: Carolus Linnaeus and the Naming of Everything

Karl, Get Out of the Garden!: Carolus Linnaeus and the Naming of Everything
by Anita Sanchez; illus. by Catherine Stock
Primary, Intermediate    Charlesbridge    48 pp.
3/17    978-1-58089-606-1    $17.99
e-book ed.  978-1-60734-832-0    $9.99

Carolus Linnaeus (née Karl Linné) pioneered a classification system for living things that is, for the most part, still in use today. In this imaginative portrayal of the scientist’s life, from a child curious about the plants and animals of his backyard in Sweden to a famous and beloved — and opinionated — naturalist and teacher, Linnaeus’s enthusiasm and dedication to systematic and organized investigation of the natural world come through. Here was a boy, then man, who delighted in careful observation of the features of organisms and spent a lifetime designing and popularizing a method to categorize them. Sanchez takes readers step-by-step through Linnaeus’s process, including the decisions he made about how to separate and group organisms, some of which, such as where to place Homo sapiens, highlight the controversies of the day. In Stock’s lush illustrations, the plants and animals of Sweden and the world surround Linnaeus from infancy to old age: sunny fields of wildflowers, rooms filled with dried herbs and specimens, and the beautiful gardens of his homes. Endnotes explain more about Linnaeus’s later years and today’s classification systems and provide a biographical timeline.

From the July/August 2017 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Danielle J. Ford About Danielle J. Ford

Danielle J. Ford is a Horn Book reviewer and an associate professor of Science Education at the University of Delaware.

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