I received a record number of comments on last week's blog. Congratulations to Danielle Hammelef for winning GRANDDADDY'S STORIES.
At the moment I am studying picture book biographies, with the hope of writing one or two myself. That means you will meet some notable dreamers, scientists, and artists through the words of talented authors and illustrators. Buzzing with Questions (Calkins Creek, 2019) written by poet, author, and creative writing instructor, Janice Harrington, is the story of Charles Henry Turner, a 19th-century scientist. Vivid, joyful illustrations by Theodore Taylor III bring Charles' quest for understanding the natural world accessible to young readers.
Without a doubt, Charles was a boy with questions.
His teacher encouraged him to search for his answers. And that's exactly what he did. After finishing high school, Charles Henry Turner did what very few African Americans did in 1886 -- he went to college.
He was the only brown-skinned man in the class and his white professor was worried about how he would be received. But the other students enjoyed the company of their fellow hard-working student.
Charles spent hours "peering through microscopes, planning experiments, gathering specimens, keeping records, drawing charts, ad reading scientific papers." His curiosity knew no limits.
- Could spiders learn, or were they only weaving machines that made the same web over and over?
- How did ants find their way home? Did the sun guide them? Did they follow a trail?
Searching for answers led to devising experiments. Which led to more information and more discoveries.
Charles Henry Turner, the boy whose teacher urged him "to go and find out," grew into a teacher himself, a devoted scholar who taught students to look closely, to find the webs that connect us all, and--just as he did--to fill the world with questions, questions, questions.