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The Day-Glo Brothers: The True Story of Bob and Joe Switzer's Bright Ideas and Brand-New Colors
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The Day-Glo Brothers: The True Story of Bob and Joe Switzer's Bright Ideas and Brand-New Colors

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  1,638 ratings  ·  234 reviews
A discovery that made the world a brighter place!

Joe and Bob Switzer were very different brothers. Bob was a studious planner who wanted to grow up to be a doctor. Joe dreamed of making his fortune in show business and loved magic tricks and problem-solving.

When an accident left Bob recovering in a darkened basement, the brothers began experimenting with ultraviolet light
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published July 1st 2009 by Charlesbridge Publishing (first published January 1st 2009)
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Average rating 3.94  · 
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 ·  1,638 ratings  ·  234 reviews

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Jun 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
The invention of fluorescent colors is one of those (many) things I haven't spent a lot of time considering. Yet, somebody had to to it. And that somebody/ies was the Switzer brothers.

Kids will have fun learning about how these brand new colors were created, while they groove on Tony Persiani's funkadelic illustrations.




And, if you really want to WOW the kiddos, get out your old black light bulb (it's probably packed away with the bong and your Pink Floyd albums), and screw that sucker into any
Jun 08, 2009 rated it really liked it
I think a lot of kids grow up thinking that great discoveries are intentional. People intended to walk on the moon. Edison intended to create a light bulb. Some bloke intended to find a way to can Spam. Thats why theres a whole genre of non-fiction picture books out there dedicated to accidental discoveries. People like to tell kids that sometimes greatness is a mistake, not planned or earned. But I think theres a third way of looking at this. What about the people who worked hard their whole ...more
Feb 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
The Day-Glo Brothers tells the fascinating story of how day-glo paint was invented. In the early 1930s, Joe Switzer was set on getting into show business as a magician, whereas his brother Bob wanted to be a doctor. When Bob was severely injured during a work accident, he was forced to recover at home, in the dark basement. Meanwhile, his brother Joe experimented with light in the basement, since he had read an interesting article in Popular Mechanics magazine. Bob eventually assisted with ...more
Feb 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wow-books
The Day-Glo Brothers by Chris Barton was an interesting biography about two brothers, Bob and Joe Switzer, and their discovery of glow in the dark paint. I read this ebook through TumbleBooks which was made the book even more fun to read because of all of the moving pictures and parts within the book. I would use this book in a fifth-grade classroom because I would like to do activities that are based on the book but would work better with older students. This was a WOW Book to me because I had ...more
Mar 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: info-bios
Two hard working brothers, Joe and Bob Switzer, grew up in the early 20th century with very different interests and goals in life. Joe wanted to be a magician and Bob wanted to be a doctor. Through lots of experiment, curiosity, cooperation, hard work and each other they created daylight florescence colors. One brother wanted to save lives. The other brother wanted to dazzle crowds. With Day-Glo, they did both. Not only are the colors they discovered bright and beautiful, but they are things we ...more
Feb 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: info-bios
Can color be created? The answer certainly is yes. For glow in the dark color, it was intentional. Popular in fashion today, this book is trendy and fun. The Day-Glo Brothers chronicles the birth of these bright, intriguing colors. The two brothers were on seemingly different paths, one interested in magic, the other in becoming a doctor. Bob's magic act consisted of black art, illusion that "involved an object, painted half black and half white, that seemed to float and then disappear." After a ...more
Kirstin Baker
1. The twin text I would use is "A Wizard from the Start: The Incredible Boyhood & Amazing Inventions of Thomas Edison" by Don Brown, 2010.
2. I would use this text because I want to begin with an inventor that they know and can connect to their prior knowledge. This will lead into unfamiliar inventors. Also, the format is the same which will make it easy for students to navigate.
3. The text is descriptive and chronological because it explains their lives from when they were young. It
Annie Friedlander
Sep 20, 2015 rated it liked it
The Day-Glo Brothers is the story of two brothers, Bob and Joe Switzer, who utilized their skills and interests to create the first day-glo colors. After much research and experimenting, the brothers found ways to use florescence and ultraviolet light to create glowing colors. The combination of Bob, the organized thinker, and Joe, the free-spirited dreamer, led to an accidental discovery of an entirely new color that could be seen in plain daylight. The brothers then found a way to make many ...more
Jun 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I thought this book was great! It had a great story about two brothers' lives and how they came to stumble upon inventing neon colors. In addition, the illstrations were great because there were more and more neon colors as the book progressed. The audience for this book would be 2-6 grades. I think the story would hold their interest and the picutres are very eye-catching and attractive. This book is from the Robert F. Sibert Medal and Honor Books from 2010.

The e-book I chose to review was
Mar 14, 2011 rated it it was ok
I viewed/listened to this book as a Tumble Book. The combination of the black and white pictures and then developing day-glo colors was presented in this online book, like in the actual book. The online book added some movement of certain parts of the picture. A larger percentage of the "page" on my laptop screen seem to be devoted to the text than in the print book. I thought that the movement of the pictures, the pixelized look of the pictures, and the movement of part of the pictures took ...more
Jan 06, 2010 rated it really liked it
Who knew the invention of those bright bright colors had such a "colorful" story behind it? And a Cleveland Ohio connection as well, which I found charming. This biography tells the life stories of the brothers Bob and Joe Switzer, who accidentally-on-purpose came up with a permanent glowing paint that could be used in a variety of places from safety signs to magic tricks. The book is illustrated IN DAY-GLO, which might be overly bright to some people but I found it really cool, and the colors ...more
This 2010 Robert F. Sibert Honor Book is sure to catch the eye of any reader! This book would be most fitting for children in grades 2-5. Younger children, actually any reader, will be so intrigued by the bright, florescent colors that they will want to dig into the history of where these bright colors came from. After reading this book, you'll be reminded of this great story every time you see a bright orange construction cone.
Dec 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Cindy
great nonfic picture book for kids, especially for boys reluctant to reading who I feel will enjoy this author's books:)
It's the true story of the two guys(brothers) who invented the florescent colors we see in so many things today. A really interesting and unique subject told in a format exciting to kids.
Alyse Liebovich
Oct 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-books
Loved how the use of neon colors were used more and more throughout the book as the brothers got closer and closer to fully utilizing their discovery.
I liked the illustrations and the story (which is pretty interesting!) was laid out simply for young readers. Definitely a unique text for young readers looking for a non-fiction book to read.
Jun 17, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: 3rd grade and up
Fantastic picture book biography which tells the little known story of Bob and Joe Switzer, the accidental inventors of Day-Glo colors. I realized I take these colors for granted, but they represent a real scientific advancement! The endpapers of this book could be visible from space.
Picture book biographies showcase the most interesting parts of history! I read this book when it came out, and am just now rating/reviewing it, so I can't speak to specifics. But it was well done and the colors were perfect for this story!
Jun 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The Day-Glo Brothers, is about Joe, and Bob Switzer and their journey to creating a whole new color, a color that is bright, and is used today on traffic cones, to help pilots know where to land planes, etc. The book introduces the brothers as young kids, and follows them through life and how they decided to come up with this new glowing color, which happens to be because Joe was focused on making his magic shows better, and Bob helped because he had just recently been injured. Together the two ...more
Jessica Silva
Jun 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: informational
Summary: Joe and Bob Switzer brothers who differed in many aspects. An accident left Bob recovering in a darkened basement and the brothers began experimenting with ultraviolet light and fluorescent paints. They worked together to invent a new color that glows. The story not only discusses the accidental invention of florescent colors, but also explains how the invention of these intense colors were used during World War II and later on in American life.

Review: This is a great text that
Oct 31, 2017 rated it liked it
A true story about Bob and Joe who are brothers that want different careers. Both of them come together and create glowing paint colors that are now part of our everyday world.

I found this book interesting. This book details the brothers original intended paths and how they came together to create this day-glo paint on accident.

This book could be used in grades 2-5. This could be used as an engagement book for students to create their own projects. This also could be used to do a book report.
Dec 28, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: science
This tells the story of two brothers who started making fluorescent paints (out of boredom, partially) and accidentally discovered Day-Glo colors.

The text is pretty small for a picture book.

The illustrations are mostly in black and white. Once the brothers start experimenting with fluorescent colors, some color that looks like it would be fluorescent is used, and then once they discover Day-Glo colors, those are used.
The story behind the invention/discovery of Day-Glo is very interesting, and the use of color in the illustrations is inspired. I really enjoyed this book while reading it to myself, but it felt a little long as a read aloud, even to grade school students in STEAM classes. I don't think I'd use it again, unfortunately.
Melissa Nikohl
Jan 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
Do you know the Day-Glo Brothers?

If you love bright fluorescent colors, you have the Switzer brothers to thank!

Learn how Bob and Joe Switzer's invention brightened up our world!

This was a really fun book! I love how the illustrations progress from gray and white to bright fluorescent colors!
Keri Rohr
Nov 13, 2018 rated it liked it
The Day-Glo Brothers is a biography of Bob and Joe Switzer who created fluorescent colors and paint. This book is for grades 4-5. U didnt find this book very entertaining. Most of the book was just black and white and didnt have any colors at all. ...more
Dec 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Read this with my first grader. She was fascinated by the concept that someone had created new colors. I enjoyed the fact that the book showed the trial and error that went into the Brothers scientific process. A good read for kids interested in science and art.
May 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
I highly recommend reading this book under black light for the ultimate experience. I learned a lot of new things from it, but I would recommend it only for teens or adults due to the difficult vocabulary. The illustrations are top notch!
Mar 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
Definitely one for my classroom! The colors pop and the story is actually interesting
Heather Jo
Jul 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: meggie-list
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Heather Gunnell
Jun 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Staff Pick

Until I found this book, I never gave any thought to how "Day-Glo" colors came to be. The story of the Switzer brothers and their glowing invention is truly remarkable.
Sarah Lee
Very interesting read! Didn't know how the colors came about!
Jo Oehrlein
Two brothers who made fluorescent paint and then accidentally discovered day-glo colors.
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I'm the author of picture books including bestseller Shark vs. Train, Sibert Honor-winning The Day-Glo Brothers, and Whoosh! Lonnie Johnson's Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions, which was included on 19 state reading lists.

My recent titles include the Mighty Truck early reader series, Dazzle Ships: World War I and the Art of Confusion (an Orbis Pictus Honor book), and What Do You Do with a Voice

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