'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Friday 19 March 2021

Review: The Amazing Case of Dr Ward

Dr Nathaniel Bagshaw Ward was a doctor and nature lover, who in the mid-1800s, invented the Wardian Case, which was later used for transporting plants from around the world. 

This little known piece of history comes alive under Tull Suwannakit’s hand in exquisite artwork from cover-to-cover. It portrays Ward’s life and the impact his imaginative invention had on world gardens.

Nathaniel had a passion for plants. They were so versatile. Some could be eaten, others used for building things, and for making medicines.


Others exuded a perfume, created shade, or were simply beautiful to look at. He learnt all their scientific names and after his medical studies were completed, he started to experiment with plant growth.

Nathaniel read countless stories about the discovery of unique and exotic plants carried across continents that didn’t survive the journey. He also studied the individuality of each type and what special feature they possessed.

It was in 1833 that a friend of Dr Ward’s shipped a load of his glass cases, (what today we call terrariums), to Australia to collect plants. Most of them survived the trip back to London and transformed lounge rooms through startling displays of ferns and spikemosses in ornate Wardian Cases.

This amazing book is a revelation. Within the preservation climate that we live in today, children thirst for knowledge about plants and living things and how to protect them.

This gorgeous book will inspire in young people, the belief that they too can become someone unique with something to offer the world. With the focus on STEM education growing rapidly, this book is a valuable and timely publication.

A perfect addition to any picture book collector’s library.

Title: The Amazing Case of Dr Ward
Author: Jackie Kerin
Illustrator: Tull Suwannakit
Publisher: FORD ST, $ 24.95
Publication Date: 1 March 2021
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9871925804690
For ages: 8+
Type: Non Fiction Picture Book