A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Does an admirable job explaining how the men invented Day-Glo, and the back pages offer a fuller explanation of both regular and daylight fluorescence.
This is a fun look at the process of invention: Experimentation and curiosity play a big part in the Switzers’ story. This also shows how two very different people -- Bob worked during the day and was very goal-oriented; Joe worked at night and was much less rigid -- were able to combine their talents to work together.
Positive Role Models
The Switzer brothers come through as creative men who worked through adversity (Bob’s accident, the Great Depression), setting aside their early dreams to follow new opportunity -- and, in the end, fulfilling those early dreams after all.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know there is nothing of concern in this fascinating story of the invention of new colors. There is brief discussion of how Day-Glo was used in World War II, but the focus is very positive (guiding planes to landings, sending signals, etc.).
Is It Any Good?
First-time author Chris Barton blends well-informed biography, history, and science into a delightful story that will delight curious kids, young artists, and budding scientists. Kids will appreciate getting to know the inventors as young boys and giggle at the lighthearted moments -- like the vaguely fluorescent cake their mom accidentally made. Kids who are thirsty for more will appreciate the notes on how fluorescence works. And the author’s note, about how he explored the Switzers’ story, is almost as engaging as the book itself.
Tony Persiani’s illustrations, evoking the ‘50s and ‘60s, open the book in shades of gray and erupt in a riot of glowing color as the Switzers’ creation catches on.
Funky, mid-century-style cartoon illustrations depict a mostly black-and-white world until the Switzers begin to play with fluorescent colors.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.