Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Ask Albert Einstein

Ask Albert Einstein

Lynne Barasch
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 8
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2005   ISBN: 978-0374304355

When her sister Annabel has really crushing difficulties doing and understanding the math that she is taught in school, Annabel?s little sister April decides that something must be done to help the older girl. April decides that she should ask the help of someone she has only recently heard of: Albert Einstein. Surely if the man with "kind eyes" can figure out all that complicated stuff about "space-time" and "deviated" light, he can also help Annabel with her math problem.

So the little girl writes to Albert Einstein. Of course she is very anxious about the whole thing. Will someone as famous and busy as Albert Einstein have time for a young girl?s math problem? As it happens, he does and he replies to April?s plea. The problem is that his answer is not what April hoped and yet it does, in the end, help Annabel.

Based on the story of a real fifteen-year old girl who asked Albert Einstein to help her with her math homework, this excellent picture book tale illustrates that persistence can pay off and that it never hurts to ask for help. It also shows the reader that being famous did not prevent Albert Einstein from taking the time to help a young person who was in trouble. He was kind and often generous to children with his time and his attention. Within the story of the two girls the reader will find some information about the famous man, his life, and his work.