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HOORAY FOR INVENTORS! by Marcia Williams


by Marcia Williams & illustrated by Marcia Williams

Age Range: 7 - 9

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-7636-2760-7
Publisher: Candlewick

Dedicating her newest offering to Leonardo da Vinci, “My special hero of invention,” Williams sweeps through the entire history of inventions, from ball (“an unknown Stone Age child, c. 40,000 B.C.”) to ball-point (Ladislao Biro, 1938). Framing sequential comic book–style panels in banter and bits of fact delivered by a flock of birds, she highlights 11 important figures, adding spreads devoted to women, to “Inventors of Useful Things” and in closing, to several dozen favorites, including such modern necessities as the chocolate bar (François Louis Cailler, 1819) and the self-cleaning house (Frances Gabe, 1950). She’s not much for depth of detail, but her brightly colored cartoons, crowded with tiny, expressively drawn figures, create an irresistibly celebratory tone, and by pairing familiar names with lesser-known but no less deserving precursors—Richard Trevithick with George Stephenson, Antonio Meucci with Alexander Graham Bell—she counters the more simplistic accounts common in other titles. An exuberant alternative to Judith St. George’s skimpier but more analytical So You Want to Be an Inventor (2002), illus by David Small. (index) (Picture book/nonfiction. 7-9)