This book is a thorough delight! It’s a colorful, cheerful picture biography full to the brim with charm and ideas. The ideas are all Albert Einstein’s, of course, and, fascinating and complex as they may be, here they are distilled into terms simple enough to be understood and appreciated by a young child. Berne tells the reader about Einstein’s childhood. He was a different kind of child, she explains, out of the ordinary. He spoke late and was anything but a model student in his early years. Even so, he became the thinker to whom all others are now compared. She subtly encourages the reader to believe that even if he or she feels different, this can be asset; fitting in with the crowd is not necessarily the only way to succeed. The writing, both about Einstein’s life and about his work, is lively and accessible and the illustrations accompanying the text are equally fabulous; faces are expressively drawn and humor abounds. An author’s note at the end of the book gives extensive information on a variety of topics: Einstein’s thought experiments, his engaging personality, his most famous scientific formula, the atom bomb and his passion for pacifism. A bibliography and an archival website are included, as well, so the reader can learn more about Einstein’s life, times and significant scientific contributions.
Highly recommended for ages 6 – 10.
Michal Hoschander Malen is the editor of Jewish Book Council’s young adult and children’s book reviews. A former librarian, she has lectured on topics relating to literacy, run book clubs, and loves to read aloud to her grandchildren.