This "Rookie Biography" engages the reader from the first page, which shows four scenes of children of different ethnic groups engaged in a variety of educational activities. They seem to be enjoying looking in a microscope, using a balance scale, reading and writing. The words above read "Do you like to do different things?" What a wonderful way to introduce a man who did so many different things and made so many contributions to the world. The next page begins the actual biography, illustrated with black-and-white drawings or colorful paintings, which are clear and appropriate. The language is also chosen carefully for the targeted age of readers. Simple sentences make the subject come to life. At the end the reader is given two pages called "Words You Know" and each is illustrated—bifocals, electricity, and The Declaration of Independence, for example. This slim volume ends with an index. This is a great addition to the limited number of biographies written for beginning independent readers. 2002, Children's Press,
Children's Literature - Phyllis Kennemer
Basic facts about Benjamin Franklin’s life are presented in a welcoming format for young readers. Each two-page spread features brief text in large print with a photograph of a painting from the period. Franklin is introduced as one of our country’s founding fathers. He was born in Boston and left school at age ten for an apprenticeship in printing, but he always continued to read. His beginnings as a successful printer are followed with his contributions of starting a fire department and creating a library in Philadelphia. His wife Deborah Reed, a son that died, and his daughter Sarah, are mentioned in conjunction with his family life. Of his many inventions, only the pot-bellied stove and bifocal glasses are mentioned. Franklin helped write the Declaration of Independence, the Treaty of France, and the United States Constitution. Includes a table of contents, a timeline, an illustrated glossary, and an index. A good introduction to Benjamin Franklin for young children. Part of the “Rookie Biographies” series. Reviewer: Phyllis Kennemer, Ph.D.; Ages 4 to 8.