THE LIFE OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN by Yona Zeldis McDonough

THE LIFE OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN

An American Original
Age Range: 6 - 9

KIRKUS REVIEW

Bright folk-art–inspired illustrations accompany a lucid account of the great man’s life. The straight narrative is a little wordier than most picture-book biographies, which allows for an impressive amount of detail to be packed in; the text flows well enough, however, that it is not burdensome for the audience. The chronological account folds Ben’s many activities in as they happened as much as possible, with just enough backing and filling to keep the reader on track. McDonough includes both the admirable—Franklin refused to patent his lightning rod, instead making the designs available to all—and the less-than-admirable—“Ben had a son, William, whose mother was never named”—with equal straightforwardness. The highly saturated illustrations are dominated by the primary colors, page borders picking up one color to frame all—a pleasing design choice. Zeldis’s plain primitive style suits the subject to a T, although her decision to color noses a distinct reddish-pink has the unfortunate effect of making Franklin look like a drunk from boyhood forward. As one of what is sure to be many this year, this offering stands as an additional purchase. (Picture book/biography. 6-9)

Pub Date: March 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-8050-7856-8
Page count: 48pp
Publisher: Henry Holt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 2006




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