Alexander Graham Bell

Leonard Everett Fisher, Author Atheneum Books $16 (32p) ISBN 978-0-689-81607-9
Featuring his signature, black-and-white acrylic paintings, Fisher's (Gandhi; Marie Curie) latest picture-book biography carefully charts Alexander Graham Bell's (1847--1922) career as educator and inventor. On most spreads, the copious text is set into the gray backdrop of the crisp, large-scale art, giving the volume a strikingly sophisticated look. But while the descriptions of Bell's tireless experiments will well serve youngsters researching his life, the text will prove slow-going for the casual reader. The writing is dense: on just one page, for example, Fisher discusses the influence of Morse code, Bell's grandfather, Bell's prodigious stint as a university student and his father's ""Visible Speech"" voice-teaching system. Only indirectly and intermittently does Bell's personality emerge. Readers learn that ""Aleck"" Bell was so involved in pursuing his future wife, the deaf daughter of a Boston lawyer who invested in his work on the telephone, that he failed to submit his patent application for the phone (the exasperated investor and father-in-law-to-be filed the papers himself). When Bell's newborn son dies, apparently of lung failure, ""Aleck consoled his family, which now included daughters, Elsie and Marian, and secluded himself in his laboratory""; more text is devoted to his subsequent invention of the ""vacuum jacket,"" a precursor of the iron lung, than to his family's or his own reaction to the tragedy. Readers will come away awed by Bell's visionary achievements, but will find the technological breakthroughs themselves difficult to absorb. Ages 7-12. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/01/1999
Release date: 03/01/1999
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.