GITTY AND KVETCH Written by Caroline Kusin Pritchard Illustrated by Ariel Landy (Atheneum BYR; $17.99,…
Debbie Glade reviews a beautiful book about Ben Franklin.
I can never seem to read enough about Benjamin Franklin. Part of the reason is that he was truly one of the most innovative founding fathers of our great nation. Among his long list of accomplishments; he was a member of the Second Continental Congress, he signed both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States of America. Another reason he fascinates me is because my daughter attends the University of Pennsylvania, founded by Ben Franklin himself in the mid 18th century.
Electric Ben: The Amazing Life and Times of Ben Franklin ($17.99, Dial Books, Ages 5 and up) is a beautiful book, the kind you want to keep forever. Author and illustrator Robert Byrd does a marvelous job depicting Franklin’s life with both his written word and his intricate watercolor and ink paintings. In the back of the book Byrd discussed the process of finding accurate depictions of Franklin to complete his illustrations, giving readers valuable insight into the process of accurately writing a biography.
When you open the inside back or front cover of the book, you’ll find wonderful lists of famous Franklin quotes. You may then find yourself surprised to learn that many of these quotes which we so often use without thinking about their origins actually come from Franklin, including the title of this review!
“Neither a borrower nor lender be.”
Inside the pages of the book you’ll find the story of Franklin’s life in 2-page topic segments. Readers learn about this founding father as a young boy, a scholar, printer, publisher, scientist, inventor, philosopher, political figure and seeker of justice and peace. Franklin was outspoken and a Renaissance man in so many ways.
This book is an excellent introduction to Benjamin Franklin for young readers. The text must be read to the youngest readers as it is quite advanced. But that is a positive because reading with your children is so important and rewarding. After you finish Electric Ben: The Amazing Life and Times of Ben Franklin both you and your child will want to learn even more about Franklin, one of our nation’s greatest historical figures.
If you enjoy this book, you may want to check out another book we reviewed about Ben.