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TIMELESS THOMAS by Gene Barretta Kirkus Star


How Thomas Edison Changed Our Lives

by Gene Barretta & illustrated by Gene Barretta

Age Range: 7 - 11

Pub Date: July 17th, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-8050-9108-3
Publisher: Christy Ottaviano/Henry Holt

A fine introduction to Thomas Edison’s exceptional inventions, innovations and career—and how his work continues to affect our lives today.

Young readers who know Edison only as the inventor of the incandescent light bulb will be fascinated by the breadth and scope of his genius as well as the sheer number of electrical devices he brought forth. They will be astonished that it is Edison whom they can thank for the phonograph, movie camera and projector, and improvements on the telegraph and telephone. There seems to have been little the man didn’t think of: an early vending machine, a vote recorder for the government (for which he received his first patent), and the first device to make use of X-ray technology. The modern photocopier and even the tattoo needle were based on an Edison creation, the electric pen. Barretta’s admiring, clear prose; detailed, child-appealing paintings; and easy-to-understand diagrams cast a focused spotlight on the “Wizard of Menlo Park” and his extraordinary work. In a nice touch, he pays homage to the gifted, dedicated team of scientists, chemists, engineers and inventors with whom Edison worked for years at both of his New Jersey laboratories; short biographical sketches of these important men are included, as is a list of “Thomas Trivia.”

A glowing tribute to the inventor who continues to influence modern life. (bibliography) (Picture book/biography. 7-11)