December 27, 2011
Now and Ben: The Modern Inventions of Benjamin Franklin by Gene Barretta
Most of us know that Benjamin Franklin was both a statesman and an inventor. But the range of this man’s inventions is truly amazing.
From my very own bifocals to diver’s flippers, Franklin invented gadgets and gizmos galore. But he also studied many things including the currents, the importance of citrus in preventing scurvy, daylight savings. Yes, Daylight savings time. It may not have been adopted until WWI, but it was recommended by Franklin as a way to save money by using fewer candles and also a way to give farmers more work time in the evenings.
Because the book covers so much, it doesn’t cover any of it in depth but the rapid pace will grab young reader’s attention. As soon as I finished reading this, my son (yes, too old for picture books) picked it up and read it cover to cover.
This book would serve as a great introduction to Franklin but it is also a great stepping off point for discussions on motivation and the many rolls that a single human being can take on in the course of their life.