Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Young Thomas Edison

Young Thomas Edison

Michael Dooling
Nonfiction Picture Book
For ages 4 to 8
Holiday House, 2005   ISBN: 978-0823418688

Young "Al" Edison never stopped asking questions. He was lucky because he had a clever and understanding mother who was happy to try to answer his questions and who encouraged him to seek out the answers for himself as well. It wasn’t long before Al had set up a lab in the basement of his parent’s house and it was here that he tried all manner of experiments and where he built gadgets and machines. Many of his experiments failed but Al never gave up. To fund his work Al became a paperboy on the railway. He went on to publish his own newspaper and to run his own little business. In fact he even managed to persuade the guard on the train to let him turn one of the baggage cars into a lab. Then one day the mobile lab caught fire and his whole enterprise went up in smoke. Al had to start all over again - and this he did with a will.

The young boy who had always asked questions grew into a man who always asked questions. Of course now we all know what Al went on to do. Every time we turn on a light we are enjoying the fruits of this amazing man’s labors. It is fascinating to get a sense of what he was like when he was young and how the path he took as a man had its roots in his boyhood days.

Distinctive paintings in earthy tones compliment the text of this well written and sympathetic picture book biography.