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

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Do you know what a Solanum caule inermi herbaceo, foliis pinnatis incises, racemis simplicibus is?*


Carolus (Karl) Linnaeus started off as a curious child who loved exploring the garden. Despite his intelligence--and his mother's scoldings--he was a poor student, preferring to be outdoors with his beloved plants and bugs. As he grew up, Karl's love of nature led him to take on a seemingly impossible task: to give a scientific name to every living thing on earth. The result was the Linnaean system--the basis for the classification system used by biologists around the world today. Backyard sciences are brought to life in beautiful color.


Back matter includes more information about Linnaeus and scientific classification, a classification chart, a time line, source notes, resources for young readers, and a bibliography.


*it's a tomato!


A handsome introductory book on Linnaeus and his work -- Booklist, starred review


A good introduction to a man in a class by himself -- Kirkus Reviews


Lends significant humanity to the naturalist -- Publisher's Weekly


The biographical approach to a knotty scientific subject makes this a valuable addition to STEM and biography collections -- School Library Journal

Born in 1707, Karl Linné was an inquisitive child who enjoyed the outdoors, loved plants, and wanted to know the names for everything. He discovered that scientists, farmers, and doctors tended to disagree with one another about the naming of flora and fauna--the same plant might have several different titles. Linné wanted to bring order to this chaos, so he set out to create a convention from which to designate plants and animals. Linné classified and named more than 12,000 species of plants and animals, and his Latin classification system was accepted and used by scientists across the globe. What had seemed an insurmountable task was completed by Linné, portrayed here as a figure with a boundless imagination and fascination for nature. In 1757, he was knighted by the king of Sweden and thus gave himself a new name, Carolus Linnaeus. Stock's impressionistic pen-and-ink and watercolor illustrations are subdued, with spots of bright color, and adeptly match the content and the tone of the work. VERDICT The biographical approach to a knotty scientific subject makes this a valuable addition to STEM and biography collections.
-- School Library Journal

An inveterate nature lover classifies plants and animals--and changes the world of science forever. Even as a tiny child in 18th-century Sweden, Karl Linne adored spending time in his family's garden. As he grew, he examined plants and bugs for hours while avoiding the stuffy confines of the schoolroom. As a medical student learning to use his beloved plants as remedies, he realized how chaotic scientific nomenclature really was at the time: no one agreed on specific names for plants and animals, nor was there even much general consensus about what type of living thing was what. Determined to bring order to the madness, Linne set out to classify the world's known plants and animals by giving each a clear and simple name--hardly an easy task given the vast diversity of living things. Yet classify life forms Linne did, in his usual painstaking way. Later in life, as a revered scientist, he classified even himself by adopting the--what else?--Latin name Carolus Linnaeus, the name by which he is still known to this day. This is an interesting, clearly written, and accessible biography about a major yet lesser-known figure who revolutionized scientific thought. The charming pen-and-ink and watercolor illustrations are bright and cheerful and work well with the narrative. A good introduction to a man in a class by himself.
-- Kirkus Reviews

Even as a baby in Sweden, Karl Linné (later Carolus Linnaeus) was drawn to bugs and plants; as he grew older, the system of nomenclature he's known for came about because of practical reasons: He studied hard and soon began using his beloved plants to cure people's ailments. There was just one problem. Which plant was which?.... Some plants had thirty or forty different names! Stock ( Emily and Carlo) works in scraggly pen, ink, and watercolor, befitting the mood of Linnaeus's exciting, rowdy field trips into the woods and meadows--expeditions with hundreds of students, lasting from morning till night. Sanchez ( Leaflets Three, Let it Be!) lends significant humanity to the naturalist, whose scientific contributions are now so familiar, they are easy to take for granted.
-- Publishers Weekly

Here's a delightful book for children ages 7-10 about the life and word (i.e., fun) of Carolus Linnaeus. A poor student who was bored in school, Linnaeus was happiest outdoors -- including his parents' garden -- and he always wanted to know the names of plants and animals. Sanchez writes that his parents hoped he would become a scholar, lawyer, minister, or shoemaker. Fortunately for sciences, one of his teachers who noted his love of plants suggested that he become a doctor, using plants as medicine. The rest is nomenclature... and Sanchez describes how Linnaeus traveled and studied and named things, sometimes fighting with the scientific establishment -- and naming a foul-smelling weed after one such idiot and fool. The writing and illustrations are wonderful -- just right for a young child who is as curious about nature as was Linnaeus.
--The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener

Anita Sanchez Anita Sanchez is the author of the picture book Leaflets Three, Let it Be!: The Story of Poison Ivy (Boyds Mills), as well as botany and history books for adults. She has taught classes and given workshops on nature and history at the American Museum of Natural History, Colonial Williamsburg, Harvard Natural History Museum, and the New York State Museum. She lives in Amsterdam, New York.


Catherine Stock is the illustrator of more than eighty children's books, including Emily and Carlo and Vinnie and Abraham. After traveling around the globe, she now divides her time between France and New York.

Target Age: 7-10

Charlesbridge Publishing

Pub Date:  March 21, 2017

0.6" H x 8.1" L x 10.3" W

48 pages