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On a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: 1 - 4
  • Hardcover: 56 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books (April 23, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811872351
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811872355
  • Product Dimensions: 9.7 x 10.1 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,305 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* It’s not easy to explain the work of Albert Einstein to a young audience, but this marvelous book pulls it off. It does so by providing an overview of Einstein’s life: the way he thought and how his remarkable ideas changed the way scientists think. Berne begins with baby Albert, who didn’t say a word. And as he got older, he didn’t say a word—but he looked and wondered. When he was a student, his teachers thought he was too different, but his differences led him to think about natural phenomenon like light and numbers in new ways. The book reroutes the text around events in Einstein’s life, such as his escape from Nazi Germany and his move to the U.S., and it only touches upon his work on the nuclear bomb. This is a more personal look, but still, it explains how he came to the discovery of atoms and his theories about the speed of light. The text could not have better support than Radunsky’s artwork. Executed on textured papers, the stylized watercolors outlined in ink sometimes eschew decoration, with the focus on Einstein and others in his life; other spreads are swirled with words and numbers. The book stresses that readers may someday answer the questions that Einstein didn’t get to, and an author’s note extends the text with paragraphs about Einstein’s pacifism, personality, and thought experiments. A book as special as its subject. Grades 1-3. --Ilene Cooper

Review

"A book as special as its subject." - Booklist, starred review

"Something of an It Gets Better Project for mathematically precocious children."--The New York Times

"Simply voiced, with word choices and illustrations as exciting as the subject."--Herald-Sun Best Books of 2013

"Richly imagined, beautifully designed, impressionistic biography." - School Library Journal, starred review

"Remarkable." - Mamarama, Redbook's Mom Blog Council

"On a Beam of Light reminds us that imagination is important, and that thinking is valuable. A great message for the little scientist in your life!" - Emily, bookseller, Hooray for Books!

"Makes genius Albert Einstein seem accessible." - Nerdy Book Club

"It's impossible not to be inspired, not only by Einstein himself but also by this dazzling account of his life and imagination."--BookPage

"I was wowed by this book."--Robin Smith, The Horn Book Blog

"Einstein's lifelong curiosity sings through every page."-Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Einstein positively glows, radiating love and intelligence."-The Washington Post

"Don't miss this book. " - Kid Lit Frenzy

"By celebrating Einstein's wonderful curiosity, this book will inspire young kids to find science fascinating." -Walter Isaacson, author, Einstein: His Life and Universe

"Awakens a sense of curiosity and mystery in youngsters... an invitation to children to awaken their imaginations." - Shelf Awareness for Readers

"An ingenious portrait of genius." - The San Francisco Chronicle

"A splendid introduction to a man who never stopped questioning." - Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"A perfect introduction to the famous physicist."-Science Books and Films

"A great read about a great man." - Walking Brain Cells

"A delightful young readers' introduction to several of Einstein's amazing ideas-and an equally valuable celebration of the advantages of being different." -Bob Berman, science author and columnist, Astronomy Magazine

"A delightful book and I would use it in my classroom." - Marilyn Cook, PreK-5 teacher, NSTA National Science Teachers Association Reccomends

"A delight for the sense... this elegant new picture book might just be that physical gift to spur on the next generation of wonderers." - Out With the Kids

"A celebration of curiosity."--Design Mom

"Truly amazing." - The Horn Book, starred review

School Library Journal Best Books of the Year

New York Times Editor's Choice

New York Public Library 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing 2013

Kirkus Reviews Best Children's Books of the Year

Columbus Dispatch The Best of the Best of the Year

Booklist Top Ten Science Book of 2013

"This is the best way to humanize such a larger-than-life historical figure." -- North Adams Transcript

"Sure to captivate young readers." - ReaderKidz

A Junior Library Guild Selection

"Whimsical and illuminating, this beautifully illustrated picture-book biography accomplishes a daunting task: to introduce the life and work of Albert Einstein to young readers."--Book Links, 2013 Lasting Connections

"Utterly charming."-The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

More About the Author

To read about me and my books, I invite you to my website www.jenniferberne.com

I hope you all enjoy reading Manfish, Calvin, On a Beam of Light, and Nighty-Night, Sleep Tight. And I thank you for your wonderful letters and emails.

I have new books in the works (including a Calvin sequel). Stay tuned!

--Jennifer

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Highly recommend for your budding scientist or mathematician.
Jenn
This delightful children's book introduces children to the simplicity of Albert Einstein's life as a child.
Barbara Pyett
This is by far my favorite children's book and my 8 yr old son LOVES it too!
Aspen

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By J. Grambo on November 6, 2013
Format: Hardcover
As a boy, Albert Einstein was not like other children. He talked late, but when he started talking, he asked questions and more questions -- so many questions that he was a disruption in class. But the most amazing things about Albert were his thoughts. He read, he learned, he imagined. And imagined. He grew up, and thought and imagined some more, and he wrote down all his new ideas. Soon other scientists were coming to Albert to learn with him!

This is a rather dreamy book, dreamily illustrated with wispy strokes, muted colors, and dashing sketches in pen and ink. Although written in picture book format, this story is unlikely to appeal to preschoolers. Three-fourths of the book is about Einstein as an adult, and his adult ideas and theories. Small children are attracted to things that they can relate to on their own level. This would be of more interest to 3rd or 4th graders, if they could overlook the childish format.

That being said, there are a few young children who do think on a different level than other children and feel out of place with children their own age. This book could speak to them.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jenn on October 28, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
My precocious five year old read this aloud to herself and her little brother(after some convincing from the that she would actually like it, since it wasn't about princesses) and THOROUGHLY enjoyed it! It was very relatable because it starts out talking about Einstein as a child and gives cute quirky details from his later life (like how he didn't like to wear socks) and progresses on from there. We had recently talked about atoms and how everything was made from them, and it gave some nice examples to illustrate the concept, which is a difficult one for young children to conceptualize. It was also a great lesson about how people eventually use math to make great discoveries (good motivation for persevering and figuring out that stubborn word problem in your homework). It definitely puts all that math homework into perspective.

In general, I would say that this book is appropriate for the third grade and up set in terms of content and readability (there are a few difficult words) but it really is a well-written, beautiful, and simple summary of the life of Albert Einstein. It also has gorgeous illustrations, so it is the whole package. Highly recommend for your budding scientist or mathematician.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 3, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Young Einstein hardly spoke a word. But he was curious about everything, from the unseen force that pulled on a compass to what it would be like to ride as fast as a beam of light. This beautifully illustrated book has become my five-year old granddaughter's favorite. It made a great "story for all ages" at church, too, in a service on creativity and wonder.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By R. Seney on June 25, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Love this little book, beautifully done with great text. I am reviewing it in my column: "About Books" in the 2eNewsletter, an electronic publication for parents and teachers of twice exceptional students (gifted and learning disabled).

Art work is gorgeous -- should be a leading contender for the Caldecott!!!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Bookitkids on April 23, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a nice pairing of Jennifer Berne's words and Vladimir Radunsky's illustration. Not only does it tell about Albert Einstein's life from birth to his passing, it has an inspiring quality to it. It encourages the reader to question and investigate. Great for STEM focus.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Pk Shiu on December 1, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The book and illustrations are wonderful, although quiet short. It gave a very brief introduction to the life of Einstein, and I mean very brief. I have two problems with the book. First, given the subject matter, I would think it is more suitable for a older child, say a 3 grader at least. But for a 3rd grader, we really could use a bit more information about Einstein then the book presented.

My biggest problem thought, is that I brought the Kindle version. On my first generation paperwhite kindle, each "page" is presented as a landscaped image on the kindle. If you click on the little square, it will zoom into display a graphical image of the text portion of the image. While I can imagine that the illustrations are wonderful, on my paperwhite's tiny screen I really cannot tell.

So I would advice against buying the kindle version.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jo on October 31, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love this book for my two young sons, ages 5 and 6. I find it inspiring. The kids really like the illustrations.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lorraine Whittlesey on August 15, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
On a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein. It was perfect for my young grandchildren. Both the 3 and 7 year olds were greatly entertained.
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