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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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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 and fluorescent paints. Together they invented a whole new kind of color, one that glows with an extra-special intensity--Day-Glo.

This cover reproduction is not printed with Day-Glo colors. The actual book, however, is printed using three Day-Glo colors: Saturn Yellow, Fire Orange, and Signal Green.

48 pages, Hardcover

First published January 1, 2009

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About the author

Chris Barton

25 books77 followers
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 has been included on 21 state reading lists.

Other well-known titles of mine include HOW TO MAKE A BOOK (ABOUT MY DOG), FIRE TRUCK VS. DRAGON, DAZZLE SHIPS, THE AMAZING AGE OF JOHN ROY LYNCH, and WHAT DO YOU DO WITH A VOICE LIKE THAT?

My new books include MOVING FORWARD: FROM SPACE-AGE RIDES TO CIVIL RIGHTS SIT-INS WITH AIRMAN ALTON YATES (illustrated by Steffi Walthall; a School Library Journal Best Book of 2022) and GLITTER EVERYWHERE! WHERE IT CAME FROM, WHERE IT'S FOUND & WHERE IT'S GOING (illustrated by Chaaya Prabhat; June 2023).

I visit schools by the score and also love speaking to professional gatherings of librarians, educators, and fellow writers.

I'm married to middle-grade/YA novelist Jennifer Ziegler (WORSER, HOW NOT TO BE POPULAR). Jennifer and I have four adult children and one dog, and we co-host the children’s literature video series “This One’s Dedicated to…” in which we talk with other authors and illustrators about the dedications they’ve written for their books.

Jennifer and I live in Austin, where I serve as a council member of the Texas Institute of Letters, a 501(c)(3) non-profit honor society founded in 1936 to celebrate Texas literature and to recognize distinctive literary achievement.

For more information about me, please visit www.chrisbarton.info.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 249 reviews
Profile Image for Melki.
5,584 reviews2,310 followers
June 4, 2018
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.

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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 lamp.

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Your tots will think you are just the grooviest parent who has ever walked the earth! And . . . then they'll go back to staring at their screens, but, hey - you get points for trying, so YAY!

Profile Image for Betsy.
Author 8 books2,685 followers
June 9, 2009
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. That’s why there’s 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 there’s a third way of looking at this. What about the people who worked hard their whole lives, experimented and tested and mucked about, and then discovered something new and unexpected? These aren’t necessarily people who tripped over a genius idea and somehow ended up with a pocket full of cash. People like Bob and Joe Switzer discovered Day-Glo colors because they were curious, thoughtful, and willing to experiment. Now author Chris Barton brings us what is pretty much the world's first biography of the inventors of Day-Glo colors. And what better format to use than the picture book? Works for me.

Bob and Joe had dreams, you know. Big brother Bob wanted to someday become a doctor, while younger sib Joe had a fascination with magic. But Bob’s dream came to an abrupt halt when an accident in a railroad car gave him seizures and double vision. Stuck in a darkened basement, Bob was soon joined by Joe who thought this new thing called fluorescence could help his magic act. They set to experimenting, and over the years these experiments included testing chemicals. They excelled in creating glow-in-the-dark colors, but it wasn’t until a combination of dye and hot alcohol that they discovered the secret of Day-Glo. The result? Their colors helped America win WWII, then went on to bedeck everything from hula-hoops to Andy Warhol paintings. They dreamed big, they found something new, and they helped people out as a result. Not too shabby for two guys from Montana.

When the book you hold in your hands is all about the discovery of a certain kind of color, it’s very important to get the right design feel right from the start. Open this book. First off, the endpapers and the bookflaps play off of one another. At the front you have the orange on top of yellow, across from green. At the back you have yellow on top of green, across from orange. When the story really begins, though, you begin to understand why illustrator Tony Persiani was called in. An artist that exploits a kind of pseudo-retro style under normal circumstances anyway, Persiani’s look at the 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60s works because he can make a character both historically accurate in terms of the style, and appeasing to our contemporary eyes. Paging through his art, the colored sequences sometimes resemble nothing so much as stills from the Yogi Bear show. All curves and swoops.

Now the book is a series of grays at the beginning. This works nicely, particularly since the grays are shaded in different ways. It would have been awfully easy to just turn these pictures into black lines on white paper. But different shades and tones of gray mean that the story has a depth to it. It also means that Persiani can play around with the images. When we see Bob in his basement healing up, he is surrounded by ghosts of various ketchup bottles. They are the bottles present in the railroad car when the barricade Bob was on collapsed. Color, when it is introduced, is always a light fluorescent in some way. As a result, the book very gradually works in more and more color. In spite of your slow visual acceptance of this, when you actually see your first appearance of Day-Glo it’s shocking. And the second time when Bob and Joe rediscover it? Persiani has the wherewithal to turn that moment into its own undulating, high-octane, visually blinding two-page spread. The world’s first use of Day-Glo in a children’s picture book? Maybe not the first first, but certainly the most memorable.

Because Barton is relying on so many primary sources (old colleagues, family members, spouses, etc.) to get his story, he doesn’t have a long Bibliography to tie up the book at the end. That’s okay though, since in his Author’s Note he credits the people he spoke with as well as four other written sources. Of course, what this really means is that Barton has told a story in a picture book format that has never really ever been told before. I’m always fascinated by non-fiction authors of children’s books that do the research on a story that has been passed over by writers of adult informational texts. It seems strange to think that the story of Day-Glo colors has never been written, aside from the occasional obituary and self-published title. Credit to Barton where credit is due, then.

Between handling materials “detailing their earliest experiments” and reading the patents for daylight fluorescent signaling and display devices, we know that Mr. Barton did his homework. Did illustrator Tony Persiani? Hard to say. There is nothing to indicate whether or not Mr. Persiani modeled the characters of Bob and Joe on existing photographs and the like. I doubt that I would have wondered, except that there were moments of history, illustrated by his hand, that would have been interesting to know more about. For example, we are told that “A printer in Cleveland, Ohio, began using the Switzer boys’ fluorescent ink to make posters for movie theaters.” Accompanying this fact is a poster for something called The Lamps of China. As a fan of old time theater poster art, I would have liked to have known more about this poster, but as it stands it’s hard to say whether or not such a movie ever actually existed. What’s the solution, though? Would I really want an artist go footnoting his pictures in a picture book? Or take up valuable text space with his additional information? I have to be content in the belief that something as broad as a theater title would not have been conjured up for the sake of a book.

I harbor no such questions with Mr. Barton’s text. With its eye-popping colors, it’s sure to be a visual draw for young ‘uns. But will the writing be a draw as well? For some. I mean, when you get right down to it, this is a book about discovering all new COLORS. Who even does that? How do you even begin to try to convey the insanity of such an accomplishment? Creating shades never before seen by the human eye? Mind-blowing. But will a kid find such a story interesting? Some will. But I mean, let’s face it. Not every kid is a fan of non-fiction. For them, the passages outlining Bob and Joe’s New Year’s Day drive in 1936 or experiments with ultraviolet light will not enthrall. But there are some science-minded kids out there, and for them Day-Glo Brothers will make them think, and wonder, and dream.

Maybe part of what I like so much about this book is Barton’s conclusion. Because writing about a discovery is one thing. Writing about people is another. But when Barton notes that originally Bob wanted to be a doctor and originally Joe wanted to be a magician, he ends with a capper to end all cappers. “One brother wanted to save lives. The other brother wanted to dazzle crowds. With Day-Glo, they did both.” This is Chris Barton’s first work of non-fiction. With his extensive research skills and way with words, I hope that it is safe to say that it won’t be his last.

Ages 7-10.
Profile Image for L12_sarah.
48 reviews
March 3, 2012
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 Joe's experiements and together, the brothers exprimented with ultraviolet light and different paint materials. The result was ultraviolet paint. However, the brothers weren't done there. They wanted paint that would glow in the daylight and not just under ultraviolet light. Upon moving East, the Switzer brothers developed the paint they were looking for and dubbed it "Day-Glo," since it was fluorescently bright and glowed even in day light. Day-glo paint was immediately utilized in all manner of things and was particlarly useful in safety equipment that was used during WWII. After the war, both brothers discovered that they had indirectly done what they had set out to do. Joe had wanted to dazzle crowds with his magic, and Bob had wanted to save lives as a doctor. By inventing day-glo paint, they had accomplished both.

The cartoon illustrations of this book completely fit the story and its content. The black, white and gray cartoons are highlighted with day-glo paint colors (used selectively) once they are mentioned in the story. In this way, the reader is able to see how day-glo paint literally brought a new level of brightness to the world. The author's note explains the scientific principles behind what makes regular flourescence and daylight flourescence work. It also includes a link to the author's website, which includes short animations that explain these scientific principles. I visited this website and found the animations very helpful and informative.

This book is best suited for grades 3-5, but would also make an interesting read-aloud book for younger grades. The book could be used in an art unit or a science unit due to its discussion of paint that manipulates light. Teachers could enhance the lesson by bringing in everyday objects that use day-glo paint, such as a crossing guard vest, orange traffic cone, or even neon paper!
8 reviews
February 22, 2019
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 never heard of these brothers before nor had I ever given a thought to who created glow in the dark paint! I was just intrigued throughout reading the book of the hardships they had to go through, the different chemicals they used to create the colors and the unexpected ending! I really think students would enjoy this text as it’s a fun read full of science related ideas.

At the end of the book, Bob and Joe go their separate ways to accomplish their individual dreams that their success with Day-Glo had afforded them. While this book is a fun read, the moral that could be pulled from it of the importance of following your dreams but also being understanding that it might not happen in a linear path. You might be on the path of your dream but then become distracted by a smaller dream that in the long run, helps you with your original dream. I think this is an important moral for students to be exposed to as it can be a bit daunting to have a big dream you want to accomplish in life but nothing seems to be going your way while working towards the dream. This could be a discussion topic to use with students after reading the book which could then lead into a writing activity. Students could write about their own dreams that they wish to accomplish and add in smaller dreams that might help them accomplish their bigger dream, just like Bob and Joe. After writing, the teacher can create a display within the classroom or outside the classroom and display students dream writings. It could even be transformed into students creating little “presentations,” a short 5-minute speech about their dream that they could tell others. Maybe have a showcase night where people can come in and the students can tell them all about their dream and how they plan to get there!

Bob and Joe also helped out during World War II with their glow fabrics! This idea could be tied in with a social studies lesson about WWII and the technology, such as glow fabrics, that was used within it. Students could read supplemental articles and other texts about WWII and its use of new technology that was developed for it or just used for the first time within it. After collecting a base of knowledge, students could write a story in the point of view of the military using glow fabrics and maybe even other technology. This would be an assignment that the teacher would have to be very explicit that within their stories there should be no blood, gore or violence. The main point of the writing activity would be to showcase the technology used within the war.
Profile Image for Christine.
14 reviews
March 9, 2013
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 see and use in our everyday lives: traffic cones, signs, advertisements, air traffic carrier crews, survivors out at sea, and even used during WWII to help send signals from the ground.
Their story is an entertaining history of florescent colors. I never really thought about how they came to be until I read this book, and I don’t think I will ever see a bright color again without thinking of these brothers.

Of course the illustrations and colors really add to their story, and are so appropriate. I loved how the book starts off in mostly black and white, while gradually adding bits of florescent colors and on a few pages it is completely covers the entire page.

I also appreciated the author’s note at the end where he discusses his inspiration for writing this book. This little note reveals how a writer begins to think about their topic and what inspired him to research this idea.

I think this is most fitting for grades 2nd -5th but the actual text might be a challenge to some students. This would be a great book for a read aloud. This would also be an appropriate text when studying certain science topics, determination, inventions, choosing an appropriate writing topic, and also a great mentor text.
Profile Image for L13_Natasha.
21 reviews
March 6, 2013
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 serious accident, brother Joe suffered from seizures and double vision forcing him to forgo medical school. This turn of events created much time in a darkened basement for the brothers to play with the idea that would launch Bob's magic career. A facinating tale that the illustrations bring to light... literally. The pages begin in shades of grey. As the story progresses, color helps tell the story. From black and white to full pages in florescent color, this book is a treat.
Listed at a reading level of fifth grade, this would make a great read aloud for grades 2-8. Because it focuses on the brothers' attempt to create something new and the idea of trial and error, it would make a great introduction to a science lesson.
Profile Image for Kirstin Baker.
18 reviews3 followers
Read
June 18, 2014
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 delves further as it comes to the invention aspect of their lives. It also describes what they did with these colors after the invention. The activity that I would do with these two books is having students create a venn diagram after reading the two books. During the reading, we will list key details from the book. Then after we have both lists, we will create a venn diagram comparing and contrasting the inventors. This will help us dig deeper to analyze what being an inventor is like.
4. The Day Glo Brothers: (July 1st, 2009). Charlesbridge Publishing, Incorportated. http://www.booksinprint.com.leo.lib.u...#
September 20, 2015
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 glowing colors and World War II America had lots of uses for these eye-catching dyes. In peacetime, the new colors made their way into everyday American life and the brothers found success in a way they had never expected.

The illustrations help show how day-glo helped brightened up the world. The early pages are dominated by black and white, and the invention of day-glo adds colors to the later pages. This book is informational and an inspiration to those who are working hard but might not just know where they will end up.
Profile Image for Mary.
17 reviews
June 21, 2012
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 Tarantulas. It is on the website pepplego. I thought the book was very intersting and easy to navigate through. I think this book would be good for k-3 grades. It is very short and has small easy to ready sentences. I also liked that you could have someone read it to you while looking at the pictures. I think that this website would be great for all elementary school kids because they could really learn a lot and have fun while doing it!
Profile Image for Christina Getrost.
2,131 reviews65 followers
January 6, 2010
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 and drawing style made it seem very 1950's cartoony, which I also loved. Neat book!
Profile Image for Susan.
17 reviews
Read
June 21, 2012
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.
Profile Image for Iroquois.
605 reviews
December 10, 2010
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.
Profile Image for Alyse Liebovich.
621 reviews68 followers
October 24, 2012
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.
Profile Image for Rebecca.
4,555 reviews177 followers
June 17, 2009
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.
Profile Image for Betsy.
1,688 reviews64 followers
March 12, 2015
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!
Profile Image for Cosette.
1,186 reviews7 followers
August 4, 2016
Great book about making success out of failure.
Profile Image for Jennifer Sommer.
321 reviews3 followers
May 4, 2022
With the subtitle, "The True Story of Bob and Joe Switzer's Bright Ideas and Brand-New Colors", the reader quickly realizes what this book is about. The use of the eye-popping fluorescent colors on the cover doesn't hurt either. This very short, but very entertaining non-fiction picture book tells of the two brothers' invention of those glowing colors - orange, yellow, and green that have become commonplace today. Growing up, Bob wanted to be a doctor and Joe wanted to be a magician. Interesting that these two career paths would lead to the discovery of glow-in-the-dark colors, but the combination of Bob's involvement in an accident that left him recovering in a darkened basement, and Joe's desire to spice up his magic act with something called fluorescence, they built their own ultraviolet lamp. With this lamp they could detect substances that glowed in the dark. They experimented with these substances and soon had a paint that would glow in the dark. Unfortunately, it didn't glow in the light, and that was their next challenge. By accident, while providing fluorescent posters and billboards for customers, they invented colors that glowed both at daytime and nighttime. New uses for these colors quickly became apparent in items like buoys, guiding planes at night into airports, as distress signals on the sea, and then in more ordinary products like magazine covers, construction cones, hunting vests, and even paintings. This interesting biography has a high vocabulary reaching into sixth grade, but will appeal to readers as young as 6, if read aloud. Additional information on fluorescence is provided at the back of the book. This would be useful in units on inventions. A nice touch was the use of black and white illustrations for the period prior to the use of fluorescent colors, with increasing brightness as discoveries are made, until the last pages where everything pops off the page with glowing colors. This was a fascinating story about a little-known discovery, and adults who remember when these colors did not exist, and even those who do, will find it interesting as well.
5,870 reviews131 followers
March 20, 2021
The Day-Glo Brothers: The True Story of Bob and Joe Switzer's Bright Ideas and Brand-New Colors is a children's picture book written by Chris Barton and illustrated by Tony Persiani. It takes on the dual persona of popular historian and cool science teacher as he chronicles the Switzer brothers' invention of the first fluorescent paint visible in daylight.

Robert C. Switzer was an American inventor, businessman, environmentalist and co-inventor of the first black light fluorescent paint along with his brother Joseph Switzer and the inventor of the Magnaglo process for nondestructive flaw-detection in machined parts. The brothers founded the Day-Glo Color Corp. in 1946 to develop and manufacture fluorescent paints, pigments and other products.

Barton's text is rather simplistic, straightforward, and informative. The story is one of quintessentially American ingenuity, with its beguiling combination of imaginative heroes. Backmatter includes author’s note and further end notes. Persiani's exuberantly retro 1960s drawings, brings to mind the goofy enthusiasm of vintage educational animation.

The premise of the book is rather straightforward. It retells the story of how fluorescent paints came to existence. Older brother Bob was hardworking and practical, while younger brother Joe was carefree and full of creative, wacky ideas. However, when an unexpected injury forced Bob to spend months recovering in a darkened basement, the two brothers happened upon an illuminating adventure – the discovery of Day-Glo colors.

All in all, The Day-Glo Brothers: The True Story of Bob and Joe Switzer's Bright Ideas and Brand-New Colors is a wonderful illuminating biography of two inventors that until now was left in the dark.
Profile Image for John Mullarkey.
91 reviews1 follower
December 2, 2022
A colorful (literally) and attractive idea for a biography/nonfiction picture book. The Switzer brothers, Joe and Bob both had visions and ideas of success at a young age, but neither could imagine that it would be through the invention of day-glo or fluorescent colors - something that many of us probably knew little or nothing about! New colors - mostly made for advertising have been around much longer than I for one expected. The Switzers began experimenting prior to World War II and had their "colors" put to use by the U.S. military; and after the war through the next few decades day-glo became part of artists' pallets as well as in many forms of advertising, toys, and safety equipment. Lets not forget the cool "black light -lit" posters found in the back of Spencer's Gift and Smuggler's Attic stores in the mid-70's!. Like other books about inventing, Chris Barton's text brings to life the unique backstory of the brothers which is pretty amazing and colorful as the colors themselves and Tony Persiani's retro-comic -style illustrations, including just enough playful use of bright day-glo colors makes this a really fun book to share - and like the introduction states - it is an eye-catching cover that attracts a library patron or book store customer to go and "take a look!" - just like the "orange" billboard in the story.
20 reviews
June 16, 2017
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 brothers went through trials, and experiments to first find a color that glows, then to find a color that will glow without the use of fluorescent lamps. The illustrations in the book, are what really took it to the next level, when the brothers had created their new color the pages were fluorescent, and most of the pages on the book had fluorescent images.
24 reviews
June 25, 2019
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 captures students attention of an interesting concept that is often overlooked. It exposes children to the accidental invention of florescent colors in a chid-friendly format, including simplistic text and images. It addresses this abstract concept in a concrete way, addressing the purposeful uses of florescent colors in the world.
Profile Image for Christy.
Author 13 books50 followers
November 7, 2020
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 and fluorescent paints. Together they invented a whole new kind of color, one that glows with an extra-special intensity--Day-Glo.

This cover reproduction is not printed with Day-Glo colors. The actual book, however, is printed using three Day-Glo colors: Saturn Yellow, Fire Orange, and Signal Green.
29 reviews
October 31, 2017
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.
Profile Image for Jessie.
1,925 reviews25 followers
January 8, 2018
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.
Profile Image for Emma.
346 reviews2 followers
July 12, 2017
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.
Profile Image for Melissa Nikohl.
116 reviews2 followers
February 1, 2020
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!⁣
Profile Image for Rebecca.
53 reviews1 follower
August 11, 2020
Interesting picture book bio that demonstrates inventiveness can be born from accidents. The text is clear, and I loved the Cleveland connection. The illustrations are cleverly done. The book begins in stark black and white; page by page touches of color are added culminating in vibrant, day-glow spreads.
Profile Image for Beth.
3,026 reviews13 followers
October 24, 2020
Biography of the brothers who invented and sold many of the super-saturated colors we know today, both in fashion and in the military and safety equipment. I like how it not only follows their lives and business, but takes a step backward to compare the original plans and dreams to how their lives really played and and talks about achieving dreams by unexpected paths.
Profile Image for Kris.
2,858 reviews69 followers
March 8, 2021
The art in this book is spectacular. It is the perfect style, the perfect introduction of the colors being discussed - just utterly charming. The story is definitely an interesting one, and I kind of love that all of these topics that I never even thought to wonder about have fantastic picture books that explore them.
Profile Image for T Crockett.
766 reviews4 followers
August 11, 2021
The Jetsons style illustrations help keep the tone light even as there are illnesses and physical injuries. It could of course be used in a unit about color, light or vision, but what I liked best about it was the way it showed the work that goes into discoveries. Neither brother set out to create new colors, but they did.
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