Mesmerized

photo (1)I’m happy to join Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Book Fridays. Along with a number of other children’s writers/bloggers, I’ll be posting a recommendation for a picture book each Friday. PPBF is a great resource for parents, teachers and gift-givers. Here is today’s offering:

Title: Mesmerized
Written by: Mara Rockliff
Illustrated by: Iacopo Bruno
Candlewick, 2015, non-fiction
Suitable for ages: 6-9, grades 1-4
Lexile: 690L
Themes/topics: science, history, investigation

Opening: While the American Revolution raged at home, Benjamin Franklin sailed to France. His goal? To charm young King Louis the Sixteenth and Queen Marie Antoinette. Ben wanted them to send money and soldiers to America. The ragged, hungry revolutionaries needed France’s help. Without it, they might lose the war. The king and queen of France were rich and powerful. But it turned out that they needed Ben’s help, too…      

Brief synopsis: (from the publisher) The day Ben Franklin first set foot in Paris, France, he found the city all abuzz. Everyone was talking about something new. Remarkable. Thrilling. Strange. Something called Science!

But soon the straightforward American inventor Benjamin Franklin is upstaged by a compelling and enigmatic figure: Dr. Mesmer. In elaborately staged shows, Mesmer, wearing a fancy coat of purple silk and carrying an iron wand, convinces the people of Paris that he controls a magic force that can make water taste like a hundred different things, cure illness, and control thoughts! But Ben Franklin is not convinced. Will his practical approach of observing, hypothesizing, and testing get to the bottom of the mysterious Mesmer’s tricks? A rip-roaring, lavishly illustrated peek into a fascinating moment in history shows the development and practice of the scientific method—and reveals the amazing power of the human mind.

Links to resources:
This is the perfect introduction to the scientific method and your own experiments. There are many resources for kids available on the Internet – Power Points, videos, worksheets of all kinds.
Explore some of Benjamin Franklin’s other inventions and experiments. There are books at all reading levels on this amazing man.

Why I like this book:
The history is fascinating, the science is laid out perfectly, the writing is superb, and the illustrations are absolutely amazing. What a great way for kids to see the intersection of science and history!

Visit author Susanna Hill’s Perfect Picture Books for a plethora of picture books listed by title and topic/theme, each with teacher/parent resources.


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