Gr 2-5-Dooling has brought Edison's boyhood into focus through careful attention to visual detail and a readable text. What emerges is a story of a determined, focused young man who, despite significant hearing loss and other setbacks, continued to experiment and create inventions that we still benefit from today. His questioning nature and creative genius were recognized and supported early on by his mother, who pulled him out of school to teach him at home when his teacher called him addled and sat him in a corner. The writing style is understated: "Eventually-Al set up a laboratory in the baggage car of the train. Soon the young scientist was experimenting with everything: chemicals, gadgets, test tubes, beakers, doohickeys, and thingamajigs." Dooling's somber oil-on-canvas illustrations use a dark palette and are extraordinarily beautiful. Each page exhibits an artistic mastery that perfectly draws out the subject and fills the space with objects that reflect the period. This inspiring book honors a brilliant inventor and belongs in every library.-Lee Bock, Glenbrook Elementary School, Pulaski, WI Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
In this sketchy but inspirational profile, Dooling pairs realistic paintings of the home-schooled boy experimenter-usually intent on a book, bottles of chemicals or some gadget-with an early-years account that stresses the influences his mother, and his encroaching deafness, played in shaping a lifelong habit of hard, constant study. Complementing the many other basic bios that focus more on Edison's later career, this closes with a spread full of Edison inventions and a pointed reminder that they exist because their inventor always wanted to know, "What is this? Why does that happen? How does it happen?" (afterword, resource lists) (Picture book/biography. 8-10)