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On a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein
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On a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  5,692 ratings  ·  652 reviews
A boy rides a bicycle down a dusty road. But in his mind, he envisions himself traveling at a speed beyond imagining, on a beam of light. This brilliant mind will one day offer up some of the most revolutionary ideas ever conceived. From a boy endlessly fascinated by the wonders around him, Albert Einstein ultimately grows into a man of genius recognized the world over for ...more
Hardcover, 56 pages
Published April 23rd 2013 by Chronicle Books (first published April 1st 2013)
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Emily K. I think this book would be great for a 7 year old. It doesn't get too deep into explaining science, it focuses on Einstein's life as a person curious …moreI think this book would be great for a 7 year old. It doesn't get too deep into explaining science, it focuses on Einstein's life as a person curious about "the hidden mysteries in the world" and shows Einstein asking questions and working to find out answers. Plus the art is awesome! Hope this helps :) (less)

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Average rating 3.97  · 
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 ·  5,692 ratings  ·  652 reviews

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Richie Partington
Mar 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: box23, biography-pb
Richie's Picks: ON A BEAM OF LIGHT: A STORY OF ALBERT EINSTEIN by Jennifer Berne and Vladimir Radunsky, Chronicle, April 2013, 56p., ISBN: 978-0-8118-7235-5

"When I was young it seemed that life was so wonderful,
a miracle, oh it was beautiful, magical.
And all the birds in the trees, well they'd be singing so happily
oh joyfully, oh playfully watching me.
But then they sent me away to teach me how to be sensible,
logical, oh responsible, practical"
-- Roger Hodgson, "The Logical Song"

"Albert started
I seem to be having different opinions from most lately. Well, it just happened again. People have been singing their praises over this book. I don't know if it is the last page that gets them so excited with the author addressing the kid reader pointing out the kid might be the one to solve some of the questions Einstein left posterity or what. While I don't really have much that is negative about this book, I don't see a lot that is positive either. I like the analogy of a beam of light. But I ...more
"The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing." Albert Einstein

This was a kindle deal of the day and I've seen it on some finalist lists for end of the year Mock Newbery clubs. That wouldn't be enough to make me jump on it, but seriously: Albert Einstein. I could not pass this up because for the last few years we have told Ellie all about him when she had a hard time paying attention and not fitting into public schools. That the smartest man known in
Ying Lee
Aug 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Genre: Biography
Copyright: 2013

The life of Albert Einstein is abnormal. He began to speak later than most children; he wondered about things that were different from his peers; his imagination usually send him to a wild world. In other people's eyes, he was a weirdo! Yet, this weirdo became a genius one day when others finally realize how knowledgeable this man was. As a matter of fact, Albert Einstein was never a weirdo. He was a man who loved observing, thinking, wondering, figuring, imagining
Absolutely fabulous biographical picture book of one of my favorite historical figures. This book uses a perfect style of illustration - somewhat childlike and mirroring sketches and doodles like Einstein might have made when hammering out his theories - to depict biographical details from the life of Albert Einstein and packs a deceptively impressive amount of great information - like his comfortable baggy trousers, sweaters, and socklessness for thinking - into the small package of a picture b ...more
reading is my hustle

Loved this book about scientific discovery!

The illustrations are dreamy in this ode to Albert Einstein. LOVED. And the text does a dazzling job of conveying how Einstein's wide-eyed curiosity was responsible for his discoveries. Most amazing was his ability to visualize experiments in his mind. He was playful, a pacifist, loved children, and had a brilliant mind.
Filled with gouache and pen and ink illustrations and text that somehow bring to mind Albert Einstein, this picture book biography manages to make the famous physicist accessible to a young audience. The book briefly covers his formative years during which he quietly observed the world and his curiosity abouut its mysteries ("hidden and silent, unknown and unseen" (unpaged). That curiosity never faded, and he went on to become fascinated with light, sound, and numbers. That curiosity will lead t ...more
Jillian Heise
I absolutely love this book! Thinking I'll use it as a beginning of the school year read aloud to encourage students to always wonder, think, imagine, and be curious. ...more
Jane Scholey
This is a wonderful picture book about the life and thinking of Albert Einstein. Great example of narrative non-fiction and how it can work. Great way to introduce and discuss the ideas of this genius. Thanks to Rebekah for the recommendation.
Feb 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
A really good book to introduce Einstein to children. The illustrations are lovely too.
Kellee Moye
Full review at:

Albert wasn’t like other children. He didn’t speak; he thought. He didn’t play with others; he was fascinated with everything around him. But it is all of this curiosity that led to his revolutionary ideas.

I love how this book focuses on how Albert’s creativity is one of the keys to what made him the amazing scientist that he is. Also, as a teacher of struggling and gifted students, I love the focus on how he didn’t do well in school. It sh
Charlotte Jones
Every so often, I read picture books on Scribd to see if I would one day like to buy them in physical format for my son. This one has been on my radar for a few years now, particularly because of my interest in physics and, more recently, in non-fiction for all age groups.

Surprisingly, I went into this knowing very little about Albert Einstein. Unfortunately, I didn't finish the book with any more knowledge to be honest. This is more a story of inspiration than, as the subtitle states, 'A Story
Edward Sullivan
Reading this book reminded me of an early Apple computer poster campaign that featured pictures of famous people like Gandhi and John Lennon with the simple caption, "Think Different." Einstein was also featured on a poster. In this delightful picture book biography, Berne's text and Radunsky's illustrations perfectly capture Einstein's intense fascination with and curiosity about world, and his humor and passion for life. ...more
A fabulous look at the quirky life of Albert Einstein and the importance he placed on questioning and creativity as a means to finding answers to unanswerable questions. The whimsical illustrations paired with the varied text add to the fun this book has with itself. Love the blocky red text that can almost be read as a stand-alone to highlight the more important ideas throughout the story. Definitely a book worth sharing with students!
Maria Tzoutzopoulou
Oct 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"He asked questions never asked before. Found answers never found before. And dreamed up ideas never dreamt before."

This is a wonderful, must-read book for children. It is a well-written story about Albert Einstein, based on a significant research the author did to create this book. I also loved the illustrations.
Well done!

Jun 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was just too cute! I absolutely loved it <3
May 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
A lovely retelling of Einstein's life starting from when he was born to when he was the old scientist with the crazy hair that we all recognise today. Putting his story into picture book format is a really great way to help children to access his discoveries and the contributions he made to science that would otherwise be quite complex for them to get their heads around. The illustrations are sweet and the book ends with information that then allow for further research and investigations that ch ...more
Great introduction for young readers to Albert Einstein. I like that it not only talks about his time as a scientist as an adult, but how he always thought and wondered as a child. The illustrations were great and really captured him. Read for Info Books for Youth for Grad School.
Feb 04, 2021 rated it really liked it
On a Beam of Light is a picturebook biography about Albert Einstein, one of the brightest minds in history. But Albert Einstein wasn't just smart; he was quirky, loved ice cream and jokes, didn't wear socks, enjoyed talking to children, played violin, sailed his boat, performed "thought experiments," was a pacifist, and always remained playful and curious.

Jennifer Berne's prose is clear, engaging, personal, and poetic. Even the most complex ideas are presented in simple, easy to understand langu
Dec 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens-books
“Curiosity has its own reason for existing.” – Albert Einstein

“On a Beam of Light” is a picture book biography on Albert Einstein. I have read quite a few picture book biographies on Einstein but this is the first and only book that has truly felt engaging and accessible for a younger audience.

How do you explain to young kids about how the mind of a genius physicist works? How do you communicate how a simple beam of light opened a world of wonders for young Einstein? And how do you express the e
Dec 27, 2013 rated it it was ok
It's a tricky business turning history and science into an easily digestible children's story. Simplicity is the order of the day, but when you're trying to simplify the life of the world's greatest physicist it's a slightly trickier proposition.

Yet that's what Jennifer Berne and illustrator Vladmir Radunsky attempt to do in their history of the life and times if Albert Einstein.

The story is as simplified as you might expect, there's plenty about how goofy and inventive Einstein could be, and v
Kristina Jean Lareau
Feb 10, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: picturebook
I found this book difficult to read. While the textured paper background works for the themes of the book, it makes the text difficult to read. The illustrations are light and playful, but to the point where they seem to detract from the story itself. I also find that Einstein's childhood is oversimplified, yet some of the topics he explores later in life have more detail. Overall this book does not add anything to the slew of books written about Einstein. ...more
I can see why people would like the illustrations, but I don't particularly care for the style. I feel like it was stuck between age groups. Too lengthy and dry for younger children. Not enough details and facts about his life for children a few years older. I wanted it to either be more little kid friendly or have more facts and details. I do think it send a lot of positive messages to children though and encourages them to ask questions and be themselves, which is good. ...more
Benji Martin
Feb 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I don't read a lot of nonfiction out loud to my students, but I might give this one a try next week. ...more
Apr 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing

A Fabulous book to foster children's interest in science. The true story of Albert Einstein.

Read immediately in your local library's Junior NON-FIC section.


Julie G ("Doctor, my eyes!"  Limited time online)
A must-have for all Einstein fans with children in their lives. A good reminder to us all that some of our greatest minds had unusual beginnings and were far from being "traditional" learners. ...more
Oct 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Nice introduction to Albert Einstein and the significance of being curious and searching for understanding.
Jun 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: scribd, children, z-2016
The drawings in this book are so cute. Loved how the author wrote about Einsteins life. A really good book for children :)
Leslie Mathers
Oct 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wow-books
"On a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein" by Jennifer Berne is an inspiring biography of Albert Einstein's life and accomplishments. This book is uniquely written with a focus on how Einstein thrived on asking and answering questions through each stage of his life. These questions prompted his intense study and experimentation in math and science, ultimately making him one of the most influential scientists of the 20th century.

What I love about this book is that it draws attention to cer
Apr 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wow-books
(Biography pick)

This is a clever picture book about a very well known historical figure, Albert Einstein. It uses eye-catching illustrations that would appeal to children, while also providing doodles that resemble what Einstein might have made for his famous theories. It explains biographical details and information from Einstein's life and also shares the importance of curiosity, questioning, and exploration. This book is a fun and inspiring way for children to learn about Einstein's contribut
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