Abigail's Reviews > Now & Ben: The Modern Inventions of Benjamin Franklin

Now & Ben by Gene Barretta
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really liked it
bookshelves: childrens-biography, childrens-non-fiction, inventors, picture-books
Recommended for: Young Children Interested in Benjamin Franklin and/or Inventors in General

The extraordinary contributions of that eighteenth-century American scientist, author and politician, Benjamin Franklin - his innovations in fields as diverse as electricity and newspaper-printing - are set out here in Gene Barretta's attractive picture-book, ideally suited to younger readers with an interest in invention and discovery. Each two-page spread is devoted to a particular idea or invention, contrasting the scene now, and the scene "Ben" - now we expect that our newspapers will include cartoons, while Ben was the first American printer to include political cartoons in his newspapers; now we rely on services provided by institutions like the library and the hospital, while Ben was the first to establish such places, in his city (Philadelphia) - while the decorative endpapers set out a time-line of Franklin's inventions, and groundbreaking ideas.

With a fascinating, fact-filled text that emphasizes how much Benjamin Franklin's ideas and innovations still affect us today, and engaging watercolor illustrations that add humor to the reading experience, Now & Ben: The Modern Inventions of Benjamin Franklin is a book I would wholeheartedly recommend, to any younger children with an interest in invention, and/or Benjamin Franklin. Less of a biography, than a list of inventions and ideas - this is one of our November selections, over in the Picture-Book Club to which I belong, where our theme this month is inventors and inventions - I think it might benefit from being paired with a more traditional account of Franklin's life, for those children interested in the man himself, but as an exploration of the influence of Franklin's ideas, it is top notch! Highly recommend to all young Franklin lovers - I was very taken myself, when a girl, with the kite and key story - and to children with an interest in invention!
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Reading Progress

October 31, 2011 – Started Reading
October 31, 2011 – Finished Reading
March 2, 2019 – Shelved
March 2, 2019 – Shelved as: childrens-biography
March 2, 2019 – Shelved as: childrens-non-fiction
March 2, 2019 – Shelved as: inventors
March 2, 2019 – Shelved as: picture-books

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