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Earmuffs for Everyone!: How Chester Greenwood Became Known as the Inventor of Earmuffs
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Earmuffs for Everyone!: How Chester Greenwood Became Known as the Inventor of Earmuffs

3.58  ·  Rating details ·  599 ratings  ·  138 reviews
As a young boy, Chester Greenwood went from having cold ears to becoming a great inventor in this nonfiction picture book from the acclaimed author-illustrator of Pop! and Daredevil.

When your ears are cold, you can wear earmuffs, but that wasn’t true for Chester Greenwood back in 1873. Earmuffs didn’t exist yet! But during yet another long and cold Maine winter, Chester de
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published January 6th 2015 by Simon Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books
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Average rating 3.58  · 
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 ·  599 ratings  ·  138 reviews

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Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
Children’s authors find the most unusual and interesting things to write about! Who knew the story of earmuffs? I’d never heard of Chester Greenwood until I read this book. If all the inventors of earmuffs before Chester didn’t have a way to keep them snug on your head, then as far as I’m concerned, Chester is the true inventor. To think they celebrate him with his own day in Maine! I also liked the way McCarthy included information about the patenting process, which costs a lot more than I thou ...more
While I found the information fascinating and the illustrations engaging, I thought the organization of this book was strange. Jumping from Chester Greenwood's story to the history of inventing and patents, then back to Chester again was confusing. Great book for introducing kids to the subject. ...more
Mar 19, 2015 rated it liked it
A truly interesting title, more about patents, pop history, and entrepreneurship than earmuffs. Fun facts and goofy illustrations tell an unusual story, with quite a bit more nuance than the usual 'Edison invented the electric light' tale.

When it's on point, this book is terrific, and the central story is very well told. Would be a great book to use as a teaching tool about anything from capitalism to revisionist history (or earmuffs!).

3.5 stars and a few concerns. First of all, I'm simply too
Describes, accompanied by cartoonish pictures, how Chester Greenwood improved upon earlier earmuff designs and got lodged in history as the inventor of earmuffs. I found the more explanatory-type pictures confusing and the story rather meandering. (I would have found it helpful to make the framing, suggested in the book's subtitle, more explicit in the text: this is not the story of the invention or even refinement of earmuffs, but of how Greenwood *became known as their inventor*.) (Also, when ...more
May 29, 2018 rated it liked it
Cute picture book account of invention/innovation, patents, and how legends begin.

Picked it up as a potential school outreach book, but ultimately decided that the story was too slight/sophisticated to feature in that context. Slight in that the illustrations are really cartoony and young-looking, and some pages only have a sentence or two on them. Sophisticated in that they're explaining some really complicated stuff that I'm not sure the kids would be independently motivated to read about.

Laura (Book Scrounger)
Being from Maine, I really wanted to like this book more than I did.

It's the story of Chester Greenwood, who is credited as the inventor of the earmuffs. As this book discusses, he wasn't actually the first person to come up with the idea, but he holds the patent, and is responsible for improving the design enough to make them what they are today.

It's a good story, I just don't think it's told well for its audience. The age range says 4-8, but my 4-year-old totally lost interest the first time
Oct 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Chester Greenwood is credited with being the inventor of the earmuffs. The story goes that he was a boy with big ears that were sensitive to cold so he had his grandmother create him a pair of earmuffs from wire and cloth. However, the author also shows that earmuffs were actually invented before Greenwood was even born. He did however get a patent himself at age 19 for ear-mufflers. Chester had a great business sense too, one that he honed even as a boy. He also invented other things besides ea ...more
Marjorie Ingall
Sep 16, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: kids-4-8, kids-6-10
Boo hoo, the first Meghan McCarthy book that didn't work for me. I like the idea of a book about the guy everyone THINKS invented earmuffs, but didn't. Chester Greenwood was the Thomas Edison of earmuffs, improving a design someone else came up with and getting all the credit. Maybe this book would have worked as a dual biography of the dude who DID invent earmuffs (McCarthy seems to have found him) and the guy who improved them, hustled more and promoted them better. Or maybe this could have be ...more
Jan 24, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 3-6-non-fiction
Although I love Meghan McCarthy's Earmuffs for Everyone! story about Chester Greenwood and other inventors responsible for inventing earmuffs and other inventions, it is her message of the meticulous research process she uses in order to write her story so convincingly that will teach readers about the key to effective research. Kids will be surprised when she explains that all the facts about the true inventor of earmuffs are impossible to find. Yet she explains her approach to coming up with h ...more
Abby Johnson
Mar 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
So, upon first glance, this looks like a book about the guy who invented earmuffs. Fun! And it is that. But it's so much more. What makes this book truly special is McCarthy's discussions about the nature of invention and her reflections on why history remembers some and forgets others. The subtitle says it all: Chester Greenwood became known as the inventor of earmuffs, but his actual patent is for "improvement" on ear mufflers. Yet, although Greenwood "only" made useful improvements to inventi ...more
Jan 28, 2015 rated it liked it
Charming tale about the "inventor" of earmuffs. Tells an interesting story with cute illustrations, and teaches almost as much about how stories grow with the telling (other earmuff inventors, running to the factory at 4am) as about Chester Greenwood himself.
Nice notes at the back about doing research.
I was *not* pleased at the blanket statement "Wikipedia is not a reliable source." The facts are a lot more nuanced than that, and such statements are the reason we get kids in the library whose t
Jan 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Excellent resource to teach kids about researching completely before writing informational/non-fiction. Chester Greenwood is known - and celebrated - as the INVENTOR OF THE EARMUFF. But his is not, not at all. In these 40 pages we learn a little about Chester Greenwood and his life, about the history of earmuffs, about how history became "changed," about inventions and getting a patent for them, and then, by reading the excellent 2-page afterword ("A Note about This Book), how much research went ...more
Joanne Roberts
Oct 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Perfect in so many ways. Entertaining, factual, interesting, lively. Rereadable. Inspiring. Better than fiction, includes details of MC's life as well as contemporary historical detail, information on other inventions, the patent process, and an earmuff holiday. ...more
The organization is a little weird but I still think readers will like the book.
Carrie Gelson
The organization of the book bothered me. Okay.
Mary Ann
Jun 19, 2015 rated it it was ok
Interesting, but the organization made this very hard to follow for me.
Before you know it, the cold winds will blow and make your ears quite uncomfortable. This fascinating picture book biography tells the story of Chester Greenwood, the man widely credited with inventing the earmuffs. Using kid-friendly text and cute illustrations, this book explains that while Greenwood didn't actually invent this important cold-weather ear protector, he greatly improved what was available and patented his ideas. This book is great for helping young readers understand how invento ...more
Amanda Shreve
Oct 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-21-30
Ever wonder whose idea it was to wear fur on their ears to keep them warm in the winter? This book is the story of Chester Greenwood the inventor of Earmuffs. Starting at age ten this book walks you through his life and how he invented a way to keep your ears warm in winter!
This book takes you on a journey of Chester Greenwood's life. The pictures and unique placement of text engage the reader throughout the entire story.
Teaching Point
I would use this book when introducing inve
Leslie Fisher
Jun 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was a cute book about the man who patented an improvement on earmuffs, though he has been called the inventor of earmuffs despite other designs being patented before his. I really enjoyed the information at the end of the book regarding the patent process. The book has cute illustrations that will entertain children while providing information about an inventor whose inventions are still being used today.
Aileen Stewart
Feb 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book, written and illustrated by Meghan McCarthy, tells the story of how Chester Greenwood became known as the inventor of earmuffs. I learned that many credited inventors did not actually invent the items they were credited with, but in actuality, merely improve them. This book is treasure trove of information with funny complimentary illustrations. It also included mentions of other inventions, famous improvers, and even women's rights. ...more
Elizabeth S
Aug 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Not only is this an interesting history of a well-loved but often taken-for-granted product, this book shows how no invention comes from nothing. Before the successfully marketed invention, there are the early versions and prototypes built by other people. And before that, there were ideas, designs and drawings. This book addresses the issue of who should get "credit." Everyone deserves some of the credit. Plus, we can debate who deserves the "most" credit. ...more
Lauri Meyers
Feb 24, 2021 rated it really liked it
An enjoyable read! Rather than being a story of the invention of earmuffs - which could be short - the author covers several topics - patents, improvements of inventions, marketing, the reliability of historical records, importance of being remembered. Rather than abandoning the topic when faced with some factual challenges about the invention of the earmuff, the book expanded into wider topics including young inventors and women’s suffrage. A fun romp!
Jo Oehrlein
Aug 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
More of a book about inventing and the patent process (and what a patent is) than really just about earmuffs.
Oct 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
I love Meghan Mccarthy's non fiction picture books. They are such unique and interesting tidbits of history that are really fun to read. The illustrations are cute and work well with her stories. ...more
Miss Sarah
Jan 25, 2018 rated it it was ok
this picture book biography traces the life of the earmuff and the man who is most famous for inventing them. elementary
Rebecca Caufman
Jul 30, 2018 rated it it was ok
While educational, a bit of a confusing read. The story jumps around a lot.
Aug 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Interesting info, but it felt a bit all over the place to me.
It's an interesting story of the patent of the earmuff, but the story digresses quite a bit. ...more
Jul 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, history
The story is interesting but the author's note at the end is even better! Such a cool thing to investigate! The art is also really fun. ...more
Feb 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Fun read! I love how the author addresses inaccuracies she found in her research.
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Children's book author of many wonderful fiction and nonfiction books for young readers, including the below following. Meghan's books have won the IRA-CBC Children's Choice, ALA Notable, Kirkus Reviews Reviewer's Choice, Booklist Best Books, NYPL 100 Best Books, SLJ Best Books, and so on. Blah blah blah, what Meghan really wants to do is drive really fast and jump in really long grass until she g ...more

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