Synopses & Reviews
Noah Webster always knew he was right [adj.:
proper, correct], and he never got tired of saying so. Seasoned bio-graph-er [noun: One who writes
a history of the life of a particular person
], Jeri Chase Ferris, writes a fascinating nose-in-book account of the lex-i-con-ist [noun:
writer of a lexicon], Noah Webster and his resistance to becoming another farmer in the family. Instead, he grew up to draft "the second Declaration of Independence": the first American Dictionary of the English Language
. With Vincent X. Kirschs quirk-y [adj.:
full of quirks, tricky] and playful illustrations illuminating the text, this clever biography is sure to grab young wordsmiths' attention.
"'Noah's dictionary is the second most popular book ever printed in English, after the Bible,' writes Ferris toward the end of this quick-witted biography of Webster, which more than does justice to the man and his body of work. Although Webster comes from a long line of farmers, 'Noah did not want to be in that long line.... Noah wanted to be a SCHOL-AR .' This mixture of biographical detail, humor, and vocabulary-building continues throughout Ferris's account, and Kirsch's scraggly mixed-media illustrations create a decidedly unstuffy atmosphere. Webster is shown with a round, oversize head and exaggerated spindly limbs; as words come to define Webster's life (so to speak), Kirsch occasionally uses swoopy script lettering as texture. Webster's commitment to the newly formed nation of America is as evident as his love of language; a timeline and author's note provide further detail about his life. A rousing success . Ages 4 8. Agent: Writers House. Illustrator's agent: Edward Necarsulmer IV, McIntosh & Otis. (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"A good deal more fun than the subject might suggest."--Booklist
"This informative book would be a great addition to dictionary lessons or to studies of the formation of the United States."
and#8212;School Library Journal, starred review
"A good deal more fun than the subject might suggest."
"The volume is a wonderful success in introducing Webster in such a charming manner."
"Ferris presents a unique and inspiring cradle-to-grave biography . . . [a] useful and entertaining volume."
"The clever text, insertion of dictionary words, and hilarious illustrations make this a perfect book for everyone who loves words. This is a book to remember!"
"It's just as timely as old-timey and#8212; a charming book about a boy who preferred to read rather than do as his forefathers did."
and#8212;New York Times Book Review
"Delightful, educational, and completely fascinating."
"What really singles out this picture book is its ability to incorporate definitions within the text without sounding contrived."
"A rousing success."
and#8212;Publishers Weekly, starred review
Brown maintains a delicate tension between his accessible presentation and his extraordinary subject.
Horn Book, Starred
Humanely and humorously depicted... Kids won't need to understand relativity to appreciate Einstein's passage from lonely oddball to breathtaking genius.
Kirkus Reviews, Starred
Readers...will be heartened by the parallels between their own experiences and those of an iconic science guy.
Brown at his best as he zeroes in on those telling traits that trim a larger-than-life figure down to size.
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Through eloquent narrative and illustration, Brown offers a thoughtful introduction to an enigmatic man.
School Library Journal
Brown's narrative and appealingly quirky...art effectively illuminate the eccentricities and intelligence of Einstein the boy and the man.
Library Media Connection
"A warm period look at a cold subject - snow - and one self-made scientist, Wilson A. Bentley, affectionately know as Snowflake. . . . The book exhibits a beautiful blend of Azarian's splendid woodcuts, a lyrical text, and factual sidebars. Bentley's dedication to his research is clearly evident, and the ridicule to which he was sometimes subjected is appropriately downplayed for a young audience. The illustrations, tinted with watercolors, depict the people, homes, meadows, and woods of turn-of-the-century Vermont countryside in accurate detail. Sources for the factual material are credited, and a final page features photographs of Bentley at work and three of his actual snowflake slides." Horn Book
"Wilson Bentley was fascinated by snow, in childhood and adulthood, and, practically speaking, is the one who 'discovered' snow crystals, by photographing them in all their variation. As a youngster, he was so taken with these little six-sided ice crystals that his parents scraped together their savings to buy him a camera with a microscope. From then on, despite his neighbors' amusement, he took hundreds of portraits of snowflakes. As an adult, he gave slide shows of his work, and when he was 66, a book was published of his photos - a book that is still in use today. Martin chronicles Bentley's life and his obsession in a main, poetic text, but provides additional facts in careful, snowflake-strewn sidebars. . . . This is a lyrical biographical tribute to a farmer, whose love of snow and careful camera work expanded both natural science and photography." Kirkus Reviews
"This picture-book biography beautifully captures the essence of the life and passion of Wilson A. Bentely. . . . The story of this man's life is written with graceful simplicity. . . . An inspiring selection." School Library Journal
* andquot;Davisand#39; picture-book bio soars, inspires, and keeps (the pages) ever turningandquot;
andmdash;Booklist, starred review
andquot;The modernist look, inherently interesting topic, and strong documentation...make this title a positive addition.andquot;
andmdash;School Library Journal
andquot;Kids who take ferris wheels for granted should find this history eye-opening.andquot;
andquot;Davisandrsquo;s picture-book account of the Ferris Wheel construction does a first-rate job of capturing the many risksandmdash;to civic pride, financial success, and public safetyandmdash;that attached to the first iteration of what most readers have already enjoyed as a local carnival attraction.andquot;
andquot;Davis delivers a tense and satisfying underdog story, while Ford creates a stylized 19th-century landscape.andquot;
andquot;[An] informative and entertaining account.andquot;
andmdash;Wall Street Journal
"What a con job!and#160;I mean that in the best possible way.and#160;Vic was tricky but so is Greg Pizzoli. His storytelling and mixed-media artwork is rendered with expert sleight of hand."and#8212;Lane Smith, author/illustrator of It's a Bookand#160;andand#160;and#160;the Caldecott Honor bookand#160;Grandpa Green
"It's hard enough to make a well-told story out of real-life thingsand#8212;itand#8217;s almost unfair that he could also make it this pretty."and#8212;Jon Klassen, author and illustrator of the Caldecott Medal winner This Is Not My Hat
* "An appealingly colorful, deadpan account of a remarkably audacious and creative criminal."and#8212;Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"Elementary-school kids impressed by brazen acts of skulduggery will be snowed by this well-told true story."and#8212;Booklist
"A fascinating story, with quirky, retro-style, mixed-media art that will appeal to readers."and#8212;School Library Journal
"In this accomplished work of picture book nonfiction, Bartoletti explores a hallowed event in U.S. history: the British attack of Fort McHenry in 1813 and the celebrated resilience of its garrison flag... The book's resonance owes as much to the delicate watercolors as to Bartoletti's controlled storytelling." Booklist, ALA, Starred Review
As inspiring as it is elegantly turned out, this will add unusual dimension to a famous episode in our national story.
An innovative picture book biography about the man who wrote American history by creating the first dictionary for the United States.
Golden Kite Award for Nonfiction
Websterand#8217;s American Dictionary is the second most popular book ever printed in English. But who was that Webster? Noah Webster (1758and#8211;1843) was a bookish Connecticut farm boy who became obsessed with uniting America through language. He spent twenty years writing two thousand pages to accomplish that, and the first 100 percent American dictionary was published in 1828 when he was seventy years old. This clever, hilariously illustrated account shines a light on early American history and the life of a man who could not rest until heand#8217;d achieved his dream. An illustrated chronology of Websterand#8217;s life makes this a picture perfect bi-og-ra-phy [noun: a written history of a person's life].
When he was born in 1879, Albert was a peculiarly fat baby with an unusually big and misshaped head. When he was older, he hit his sister, frustrated his teachers, and had few friends. But Albertand#8217;s strange childhood also included his brilliant capacity for puzzles and problem solving: the mystery of a compassand#8217;s swirling needle, the intricacies of Mozartand#8217;s music, the secrets of geometryand#151;set his mind spinning with ideas. In fact, Albert Einsteinand#8217;s ideas were destined to change the way we know and understand the world and our place in the universe.
In spare, precise text filled with graceful detail and accompanied by sometimes humorous, sometimes lonely portraits, Don Brown introduces us to the less than magnificent beginnings of an odd boy out. The result is a tender rendering of the adventures of growing up for one of the most important thinkers of the twentieth century.
"Of all the forms of water the tiny six-pointed crystals of ice called snow are incomparably the most beautiful and varied." -- Wilson Bentley (1865-1931)
From the time he was a small boy in Vermont, Wilson Bentley saw snowflakes as small miracles. And he determined that one day his camera would capture for others the wonder of the tiny crystal. Bentley's enthusiasm for photographing snowflakes was often misunderstood in his time, but his patience and determination revealed two important truths: no two snowflakes are alike; and each one is startlingly beautiful. His story is gracefully told and brought to life in lovely woodcuts, giving children insight into a soul who had not only a scientist's vision and perseverance but a clear passion for the wonders of nature. Snowflake Bentley won the 1999 Caldecott Medal.
Science, history,and#160;andand#160;engineeringand#160;combineand#160;in thisand#160;uplifting non-fiction picture book about the invention of the world's most iconic amusement park ride, the Ferris Wheel. and#160;
Capturing an engineerand#8217;s creative vision and mind for detail, this fully illustrated picture book biography sheds light on how the American inventor George Ferris defied gravity and seemingly impossible odds to invent the worldand#8217;s most iconic amusement park attraction, the Ferris wheel.
and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; A fun, fact-filled text by Kathryn Gibbs Davis combines with Gilbert Fordand#8217;s dazzling full-color illustrations to transport readers to the 1893 Worldand#8217;s Fair, where George Ferris and his big, wonderful wheel lifted passengers to the skies for the first time.
In the early 1900s, Robert Miller, a.k.a. and#147;Count Victor Lustig,and#8221; moved to Paris hoping to be an artist. Aand#160;con
and#160;artist, that is. He used his ingenious scams on unsuspecting marks all over the world, from the Czech Republic, to Atlantic ocean liners, and across America. Tricky Vic pulled off his most daring con in 1925, when he managed to "sell" the Eiffel Tower to one of the cityand#8217;s most successful scrap metal dealers! Six weeks later, he tried to sell the Eiffel Tower all over again. Vic was never caught. For that particular scam, anyway. . . .
Kids will love to read about Vic's thrilling life, and teachers will love the informational sidebars and back matter. Award-winner Greg Pizzoliand#8217;s humorous and vibrant graphic style of illustration mark a bold approach to picture book biography.
Here in lyrical prose is the story of the flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to write the words that became the national anthem of the United States. This flag, which came to be known as the Star-Spangled Banner, also inspired author Susan Campbell Bartoletti, who, upon seeing it at the Smithsonian Institution, became curious about the hands that had sewn it.
Here is her story of the early days of this flag as seen through the eyes of young Caroline Pickersgill, the daughter of an important flag maker, Mary Pickersgill, and the granddaughter of a flag maker for General George Washingtons Continental Army. It is also a story about how a symbol motivates action and emotion, brings people together, and inspires courage and hope.
Over 10 billion doughnuts are baked each year in the U.S. alone, but whatand#39;s the hole
story behind one of Americaand#39;s most beloved pastries?
From the coast of 19th century Maine to a schooner on the high seas manned by hungry sailors, Pat Miller takes readers on a rollicking adventure that explores the simple and surprisingly logical origin story of the iconic doughnut.
About the Author
Kathryn Gibbs Davisandnbsp;has a gift for combining history and storytelling in a manner that relates to readers of many ages. Her Wackiest Whiteandnbsp;House Pet earned the Parents Gold Choice Award and was read aloud by former First Lady Barbara Bush during a nationally televised event at the presidential library. Kathrynandnbsp;is an active member of the Childrenand#8217;s Literature Network. Visit gibbsdavis.com.
Gilbert Ford was born into a family of photographers. Instead of taking up the camera, he moved to New York to attend the prestigious Pratt Institute. His illustrations have appeared in books, magazines, newspapers, toys, billboards and advertisements. He currently resides in Brooklyn, NY. Visit gilbertford.com.