Timeless Thomas: How Thomas Edison Changed Our Lives. DVD. 17:22 min. Spoken Arts. 2013. ISBN 0-8045-8140-1. $50; CD with hardcover book, ISBN 0-8045-4239-2: $29.95.
Gr 2–6–Thomas Alva Edison and his inventive mind had a huge impact on society, perhaps more than most people realize. This is the focus of Gene Barretta’s book (Holt, 2012.) In the DVD, the author provides a live-action introduction, taking viewers toEdison’s workshop and showing many of his inventions. This provides a nice segue into the book itself, which is read by Steve Chiamadia while Barretta’s warm and humorous cartoon illustrations are scanned iconographically. The presentation is fascinating because it focuses less onEdison’s life than on his legacy. AtEdison’s lab, students are introduced to an invention and then shown how it impacts us today. The connections that are made are enlightening as viewers learn how Edison was instrumental in the technology that led to modern-day movies, batteries, tattoos, vending machines, and much more. Barretta also emphasizes the work involved, and howEdisonlearned from his failures as well as his successes. This fascinating presentation provides unique insights and thought-provoking connections.–Teresa Bateman, Brigadoon Elementary,Federal Way, WA