John Deere, That's Who!

MAURER, Tracey Nelson. John Deere, That's Who! illus. by Tim Zeltner. 40p. bibliog. glossary. Holt. Mar. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781627791298.
Gr 1–4—Who was John Deere, and how did he start the business that bears his name? In this picture book biography, Deere is introduced as a blacksmith living in Vermont in the 1830s. After his forge burned down twice, Deere decided to move west. Trying to use traditional plows in the tough, sticky Illinois prairie ground was a difficult and time-consuming endeavor. Through trial and testing, Deere came up with a plow that made the work quicker and easier. (A note at the end provides further information about Deere and the development of the company.) Told in a conversational manner, the factual narrative is well matched to the folk art—style illustrations. Rendered in acrylic paint on plywood, along with stains and glazes, the pictures effectively reflect the subject and the time period. Although Deere was not widely known or documented in his own time, historians have worked with "recollections of family and friends, notes in diaries, newspaper articles, letters, and business materials." The author includes a lengthy source list and suggests visiting the John Deere company website.
VERDICT An effective resource for economics lessons, as it examines product development, testing, and distribution. Also a solid selection to demonstrate the creative thinking and problem-solving skills needed for design or maker learning.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing