Ben Franklin's Big Splash: The Mostly True Story of His First Invention

10 min. Dist. by Dreamscape Media. 2015. $38.99. ISBN 9781633794450.
RedReviewStarPreS-Gr 3—According to this "mostly true" tale by award-winning author Barb Rosenstock, Ben Franklin conceived of his first invention while doing something he loved, swimming. In his desire to swim just like a fish, young Ben fashions a couple of makeshift fins for his hands and feet. Although his first attempt does not succeed, young Ben, "the smart, stubborn, sensible son of a soap maker" is both determined and motivated, and finds not only a way to achieve his goal but a budding love of science and invention as well. This production, based on the picture book biography (Calkins Creek, 2014), is educational and entertaining. S.D. Schindler's beautiful ink-and-watercolor illustrations compliment the playful text, adding a touch of humor to this engaging and enjoyable tale, which translates well into what is sure to be a favorite with viewers. An upbeat and buoyant musical score accompanies the engaging narration by veteran reader Susie Berneis.
VERDICT This delightful adaptation would make a great addition to public and school library collections.

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