Monday, July 20, 2015

Nonfiction Monday - On a Beam of Light

Berne, Jennifer. On a Beam of Light; a Story of Albert Einstein. Illus. Vladimir Radunsky. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2013. Print.

            This is a really focused picture book biography, presenting the mind    of Albert Einstein – how he wondered about everything and wanted to understand the mysteries of how things worked – how he spent his life figuring and thinking and imagining. 

                        Unfortunately, clever as this is, it fails as a biography because Berne concentrates on Einstein’s mind and only mentions a few of the things he discovered. 
                        It’s possible this biography was forced into this narrow view of his life by the recent demand that picture books and even picture book biographies be only 500 words long. Berne intends for the reader to think about some of Einstein’s unanswered questions and perhaps attempt to solve them. She succeeds in this goal, but fails to answer basic questions about his life, ignoring his German birth and his work in the USA, which resulted in the development of the atomic bomb. Even the author’s notes ignore specific necessary information such as birth, death, and his relationship to world events.

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