First Peas to the Table

How Thomas Jefferson Inspired a School Garden

Maya loves contests, so she is excited when her teacher announces they will plant a school garden like Thomas Jefferson’s garden at Monticello—and they’ll have a “First Peas to the Table” contest, just like Jefferson and his neighbors had each spring. Maya plants her pea seeds with a secret head start—found in Jefferson’s Garden Book—and keeps careful notes in her garden journal. But her friend Shakayla has plans of her own for the contest.

  • 32 Pages
  • 10.75" x 8.5"
  • 9780807524527
  • March 2012

Buy from Albert Whitman

  • 9780807524558
  • March 2015

Other Places to Buy


  • This beautifully illustrated story has a mixture of both fiction and facts about the life cycle of peas…Teachers will find a multitude of ways to use this book and this team’s In the Garden with Dr. Carver.

    - School Library Journal

  • The first-person narrative relates events and Maya’s changing perspective in a believably childlike voice, while the pencil-and-watercolor illustrations capture the story’s tone as well as the characters’ emotions.

    - Booklist

  • History, science and a guidance lesson all rolled into one, this could surely be the spark for many a school garden.

    - Kirkus Reviews

  • This picture book seamlessly meshes together a little science, a little history, and a strong storyline.

    - Library Media Connection

Awards & Accolades

  • Best Children's Books of the Year 2013, Bank Street College
  • 2013 Growing Good Kids - Excellence in Children's Literature Award
  • 2013-2014 Macy's Multicultural Collection of Children's Literature
  • 2012 Children's Agriculture Book of the Year, Nebraska Farm Bureau Federation
  • 2016 Agriculture Book of the Year, American Farm Bureau Foundation


Nicole Tadgell

Common Core

RL.1.1,2,3,4,5,6,7,9 RL.2.1,2,3,5,6,7,10 RL.3.1,2,3,4,5,6,7,9,10


  • Accelerated Reader Points: 0.50
  • ATOS Level: 4.50