A basic explanation for younger children who wonder how telephones work and how they were invented.
Zoehfeld begins by describing how sound waves work (tucking in instructions for making a string telephone), then goes on to the invention of telegraphs and Morse code, followed by close looks at Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone and Thomas Edison’s improvements to it. She then traces the development of wireless networks and cellphones and ends by inviting readers to think about what they wish future phones might be able to do. Suggestions for experiments to perform with the string phones readers (of course) made earlier on can be found in the backmatter along with a glossary and a short timeline of phone history. Along with labeled views of early devices and their insides, Nowowiejska adds both cartoon portraits of early inventors and a racially diverse cast of modern children (including one in a wheelchair and several with glasses). Oddly, although a child is pictured on a smartphone in an opening sequence, the author ends her discourse before the development of today’s telephony, and the timeline cuts off with the first portable phones in 1973.
A bit behind the times but nevertheless a sturdy addition to a venerable series, filling in a ubiquitous device’s historical and technological background. (Informational picture book. 6-8)