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POLLEN Darwin's 130-Year Prediction

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  40 ratings  ·  16 reviews
How long does it take for science to find an answer to a problem?

On January 25, 1862, naturalist Charles Darwin received a box of orchids. One flower, the Madagascar star orchid, fascinated him. It had an 11.5” nectary, the place where flowers make nectar, the sweet liquid that insects and birds eat. How, he wondered, did insects pollinate the orchid? It took 130 years to
Published March 31st 2019
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Jon Nakapalau
Feb 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book that teaches young children that science is based on observation and documentation - nice art!
Mar 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is an amazing little picture book about what happened when Charles Darwin found an orchid and tried to figure out how it was pollinated, because the stamen and nectar were deep within the cavity.

He theorized that it was done by a moth, of some kind, with a long prothesis that uncoiled and managed to polinate it.

But, he died before he could find that said moth.

It wasn't until modern times, that someone put the suspected moth and the orchid in the same room, so they could see if the theory wo
Dec 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Science discovery requests
Recommended to June by:
Tells the story of how Darwin predicted the existence of a moth with an eleven-inch long proboscis when he received a Star Orchid from Madagascar. It wasn't until 21 years later that two entomologists described a new Madagascar hawk moth. Then it wasn't until 130 years later that Wasserthal got final proof with a photograph. ...more
Jun 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Significant ‘other moments’ in science

Darcy Pattison is an Arkansas children's book author and writing teacher. In 1999, she created the Novel Revision Retreat, which she now teaches across the nation. As a children's book author her books have been translated into ten languages, and have been recognized for excellence by starred reviews, Book of the Year awards, state award lists and more. She is the 2007 recipient of the Arkansas Governor's Arts Award for Individual Artist for her work in chil
This is the first "Moments in Science" series book that i have read. I really liked this one.
How long does it take to find the answer to a problem? Through our studies we are taught early in school to find a scientific problem, make a hypothesis, research,test and study and finally conclude. In real life, how long did it take to understand how pollination was happening? 130 years!!
Read this book to understand how scientific curiosity, generations of hypothesis testing in field and importance of
Katheryn McNicholas
Mar 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
"Sometimes science takes a long time..." This story begins with Darwin's hypothesis of the moths and Star Orchids of Madagascar. Through incredibly colorful illustrations and somewhat advanced language, we see how the hypothesis is proven long after Darwin's death. The story includes scientific information on pollination, simple explanations of tests and experimenting, and is an overall great door opening for young scientists.

Kristy Gilpin
Apr 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Like all good nonfiction, this book left my daughter and I with lots of good information/answers and a whole lot more answers. 130 years ago, Darwin predicted that there must be a moth with an 11 inch long proboscis capable reaching the nectary of a specific orchid in Madagascar. This book follows the journey of several scientists as they patiently wait to get a photograph of this elusive moth. We loved this story and the lesson that it teaches about the sometimes slow changes and growth in scie ...more
For Science!

I read this with Mister; it was a bit long/much for a 4-year-old who is trying to avoid going to bed. Wrong audience and wrong time, and that is my fault. He might have been more interested at another time, but he was wired up from being too tired and was antsy (insect pun fully intended). He DID enjoy the illustrations and kept pointing things out to me (he thought Darwin was Santa Claus, by the way, which made the story slightly more interesting when you tell it coming from that po
Sandra Stiles
Jul 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is the story of a prediction Charles Darwin made and how approximately 130 years later it was proven by another scientists. After receiving a star orchid from Madagascar, Darwin hypothesized how the flower was pollinated. Unfortunately he didn’t live long enough to find out if his hypothesis was true. Other scientist carried on his work and found a moth like Darwin had predicted to be about the right size and with a long probiscus to pollinate this flower. Unfortunately it took another scie ...more
Jan 21, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Originally picked this up to see if it had answers to why my pollen allergies are so bad. No answer for that, but interesting look at how the scientific discoveries often take years. In this case 130 years pass to find the answer to Darwin’s orchid pollination question. Love the art, very engaging. One page has very light type, barely visible over the artwork, then it’s repeated on next page with black type. Don’t know if it is a mistake or intentional. Doesn’t detract from information in book, ...more
Mk Campbell
Mar 18, 2019 rated it liked it
Here's the Hook:
Your kiddo could be a grand scientist too! With the beautiful illustrations by Peter Willis, you and your child will feel like you're right there in the story, and that you could both reach out and touch the orchids. Could be a good educational tool in the science classroom, but can be a little dry sometimes in general. In any case, still recommended for the lovely illustration.
Kylee Wilson
Aug 05, 2019 rated it did not like it
Me being on the Creation side, I personally found some problems with this book. I think that God created the flower and the moth, not exactly a symbiotic relationship, but to where it just works that way. I don't think that the moth evolved a longer proboscis to keep itself away from spiders, and then the flower evolved with it. ...more
Mar 12, 2020 marked it as to-read
Note: I received a digital review copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.
After receiving an intriguing orchid specimen from Madagascar, Charles Darwin hypothesized that it must have co-evolved with a very special pollinator - one that could reach inside it's 11.5 inch long nectary - possibly a moth? No one had ever identified a moth in that region with an 11.5 inch long proboscis at that time, but 21 years later a couple of entomologists found one! They never discovered what the moths fed on, but 89 years AFTER that another entomologist set up an experiment observing ...more
Sandy Brehl
This is a marvelous example of the ways in which the arc of science spans time and place, a concrete example of the significance of hypothesis and scientific reasoning. It also reveals an astonishing marvel of our natural world. This is also a grand way to illustrate and develop understanding of key concepts: adaptation and natural species interdependence. The content works for any age, even for young elementary audiences.
Back matter is well-balanced and includes brief bios of significant scien
Aug 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book informs with fact-filled narrative and delights with colorful, creative illustrations. Back matter includes sources, a glossary, and additional details about the book's principals.
Recommended for science lovers and curious readers of all ages.
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DARCY PATTISON ( is published in ten languages.

Children’s book author Darcy Pattison writes award-winning fiction and non-fiction books for children. Her works have received starred PW, Kirkus, and BCCB reviews. Awards include the Irma Black Honor award, five NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Books, Eureka! Nonfiction Honor book, Junior Library Guild selections, and NCTE Notabl

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