cover image On a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein

On a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein

Jennifer Berne, illus. by Vladimir Radunsky. Chronicle, $17.99 (56p) ISBN 978-0-8118-7235-5

Berne (Manfish) and Radunsky (Hip Hop Dog) create an inspired tribute to Einstein, a man who "asked questions never asked before. Found answers never found before. And dreamed up ideas never dreamt before." The book moves briskly through Einstein's quiet, inquisitive childhood (a magnetic compass helped trigger his interest in the "mysteries in the world--hidden and silent, unknown and unseen") to his accomplishments as an adult. Radunsky's loose, hulking ink caricatures capture the gleam in Einstein's eye at every age. When Berne explains how Einstein helped prove the existence of atoms, Radunsky uses dots to underscore the idea in the accompanying image ("Even this book is made of atoms!" the scientist gleefully explains, breaking the fourth wall). Einstein's lifelong curiosity sings through every page, and Berne emphasizes that readers are heir to that same spirit of discovery. In the closing scene, Radunsky pictures a boy, girl--and dog!--wearing rather Einsteinian plaid suits, staring at a field of question marks with a familiar gleam in their eyes. Ages 6-9. Author's agent: Caryn Wiseman, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. Illustrator's agent: Brenda Bowen, Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. (May)