The Remarkable Benjamin Franklin

The Remarkable Benjamin Franklin

by Cheryl Harness
     
 

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No one could have thought up a more amazing character than the living, breathing Benjamin Franklin. He was everything from a "soapmaker, candle dipper, and printer" to a "postmaster, political activist, community reformer, revolutionary, statesman, international diplomat, and first great citizen of a nation which he, as much or more than anyone, helped to create."

Overview

No one could have thought up a more amazing character than the living, breathing Benjamin Franklin. He was everything from a "soapmaker, candle dipper, and printer" to a "postmaster, political activist, community reformer, revolutionary, statesman, international diplomat, and first great citizen of a nation which he, as much or more than anyone, helped to create."

Acclaimed children's author-illustrator Cheryl Harness through her true-to-life paintings and storytelling-style narrative, along with a generous sampling of Franklin's own words, lets you "walk in his shoes" as you discover just how truly remarkable Benjamin Franklin was.

National Geographic supports K-12 educators with ELA Common Core Resources.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
One of America's Founding Fathers, Benjamin Franklin, would have turned 300 this month. In celebration, Cheryl Harness adds a picture book biography in the same vein as her The Revolutionary John Addams, this time paying tribute to The Remarkable Benjamin Franklin. Like others in this series, Harness peppers a lengthy, informative text with a generous sprinkling of quotes (taken primarily from Franklin's letters, journals, autobiography and Poor Richard's Almanack) plus paintings that evoke the period. The author/artist puts special emphasis on Franklin's apprenticeship as a printer (and how that led to his role as a newpaperman and author of the Almanack), his scientific experiments and inventions, and his skills as a diplomat. A timeline placing his life in the context of world events wraps up this ideal introduction to a truly remarkable man. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Harness has packed a lot of valuable information into this picture book biography of Benjamin Franklin. She begins with his birth 300 years ago as the tenth child of a hardworking soap and candle maker. Although his formal education was cut short, Franklin offers an exemplary example of a lifelong learner. At age twelve, he began an apprenticeship in a printing shop and was soon moved to become a writer himself. Franklin's travels to Philadelphia and to England set the tone for his life of adventure and invention. Most of the text focuses on Franklin's key contributions as a founding father of our country. His involvement in the French and Indian War was followed by a second trip to England. This time he served as an eloquent spokesman for the colonies. He returned home in time to assist with and sign The Declaration of Independence. Then he took off for France to solicit help for the Revolutionary War. He was nearing eighty-years of age when he returned to the new nation that he had helped create. He then participated in the Constitutional Convention. He proudly signed the document that has served this country well for over two hundred years. Full-color paintings cover most pages, with succinct text appearing in bordered boxes. Each page features a quotation from Franklin's own writings, including his autobiography, various essays, and Poor Richard's Almanac. An excellent source of information about this truly remarkable man. 2005, National Geographic, Ages 7 to 12.
—Phyllis Kennemer, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
Gr 2-5-An inviting introduction to the varied and unique life of this fascinating Founding Father. Beginning with Franklin's birth, Harness explores the activities that filled his days from his quest to open his own print shop to his role in the American Revolution to his personal intrigues and inventions. Her conversational writing style and vivid illustrations will appeal to readers just becoming acquainted with this important figure. Done in watercolor, gouache, ink, and colored pencil, the detailed paintings create a strong sense of time and place, and Franklin's facial expressions convey emotions described in the text. Pertinent quotes from his writings appear on almost every page. A detailed time line helps place his story in context and fleshes out the specifics of his life. This colorful book provides an enticing glimpse at Franklin's philosophies and accomplishments. Youngsters interested in a more comprehensive account can be referred to David A. Adler's excellent B. Franklin, Printer (Holiday House, 2001) and Candace Fleming's inviting Ben Franklin's Almanac (S & S, 2003).-Deanna Romriell, Salt Lake City Library, UT Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Harness takes Franklin from a "sick-of-soap-and-candles, sea-hankering boy" to contented, renowned old age, retracing well-traveled territory but slipping in frank acknowledgements that his first son was illegitimate and his other children born of a common-law marriage. Primarily, however, she includes an admiring recitation of his better-known political, civic and scientific successes. She packs her busy paintings with figures-many of whom glance out invitingly at viewers-in rumpled 18th-century dress, but only occasionally adds the distracting labels that mar many of her other outings. Replete with pithy quotes and closing with a lengthy, wide-ranging timeline, this tribute kicks off what is likely to be a national celebration of Franklin's tercentenary on a strong, sure note. (bibliography) (Picture book/biography. 8-10)
From the Publisher
"Those seeking a comprehensive biography for picture-book audiences need look no further than Harness’ The Remarkable Benjamin Franklin (2005), which showcases the talent for creatively distilling famous lives that marked her previous six picture books about great Americans."—Starred review, Booklist

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780792278849
Publisher:
National Geographic Society
Publication date:
11/08/2005
Pages:
48
Product dimensions:
8.71(w) x 11.19(h) x 0.40(d)
Lexile:
970L (what's this?)
Age Range:
7 - 10 Years

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