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Kindergarten-Grade 3–This story of the first woman to receive a U.S. patent makes an excellent introduction to inventors and Womens History Month. Knight used tools inherited from her father to design and build her inventions. As a child, she was always sketching one of her brainstorms for toys and kites for her brothers. She once designed a foot warmer for her mother. Although it was never patented, Knights design for a safer loom saved textile workers from injuries and death. Later as an adult, she fought in court and won the right to patent her most famous invention, a machine that would make paper bags. Matties story is told in a style that is not only easy to understand, but that is also a good read-aloud. The watercolor-and-ink illustrations capture the spirited inventor and support the text in style and design. Their sketchy quality works well with the pen-and-ink drawings of inventions at the bottom of the pages. While most of these are simulated, the actual drawings from the 1871 patent for the paper-bag machine are included. The text has some fictional dialogue that makes Mattie more real to young readers without compromising the facts. An authors note gives additional biographical information about this creative woman. This is not the best source for reports, but it will inspire interest in women and children as inventors. Its a good reminder that nonfiction isnt just for reports. It pairs nicely with Marlene Targ Brills Margaret Knight: a Girl Inventor (Millbrook, 2001).–Carolyn Janssen, Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, OH
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
K-Gr. 3. McCully took on a challenge in this picture-book biography of "The Lady Edison"--little-known, nineteenth-century inventor Margaret E. Knight. Knight created the machine that makes paper grocery sacks. Her invention isn't instantly attention-grabbing stuff for young people, but McCully draws children into Knight's life by emphasizing not only her engineering triumphs but also her resolute stance against the restrictive gender roles of her time. She begins with Knight's childhood, when the young "Mattie" sketched prolifically, built inventions, and proposed safety devices for the New Hampshire textile mills where her family worked. As an adult, Mattie continued to work on her inventions until her paper-bag machine idea was stolen. A court scene between the belligerent thief and Mattie emphasizes the inherent discrimination women of the era faced: "Miss Knight could not possibly understand the mechanical complexities of the machine," the scornful thief tells the judge. Still, Mattie wins her case at the book's jubilant close. A one-page biography, which includes Knight's later accomplishments, completes the account. Watercolor scenes invoke the drama, and a banner of sketches showing various inventions runs along several pages. A short bibliography closes. Gillian Engberg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Gave to my niece as her b-day gift and she loved it! Don't miss out! Completely recommend this book to all!!!Published on April 6, 2013 by Abby McCarthy
I just happened by this yesterday at my local library book sale and it caught my eye. I am so please I brought it home. Read morePublished on October 16, 2012 by Barbarino
What I enjoyed most about this book was the information on Margaret Knight and the things she invented, including a machine that made paper bags. Read morePublished on March 25, 2012 by Ohioan
I picked up this book at the library when I went to check out some books about famous inventors. We came home with "Neo Leo," "Now & Ben," "Odd Boy Out," and this one, "Marvelous... Read morePublished on January 11, 2012 by Erica Smith
This is definitely geared toward the older picture book audience, though I'm sure visual and/or inventor oriented children will love pouring over the illustrations and diagrams of... Read morePublished on November 8, 2011 by A. Williams