Wednesday, November 4, 2009


I have a few little quirks. Well, actually, if you asked my sons, I have more than a few. But a few for sure. And one of them is that I love knowing how things were invented or where they came from.

THE DAY-GLO BROTHERS: THE TRUE STORY OF BOB AND JOE SWITZER'S BRIGHT IDEAS AND BRAND NEW COLORS is a "where things came from" kind of a book. Bob Switzer dreamed of being a doctor until a work-related accident left him with headaches and double vision. His younger brother Joe wanted to be a magician. Instead, the two ended up inventing day-glo paint. This book chronicles their journey with all its stops and starts, and false tries, e.g. the time they used their mom's mixer and turned her angel food cake a pale fluorescent pink. It's an engaging story, but the book also has lots of potential life lessons about creativity, risk taking, mistake making, patience, and perseverance. Character education at its finest!

First-time illustrator Tom Persiani has done a terrific job with the artwork in DAY-GLO BROTHERS. According to the back of the book, he used the computer to create fifties-style characters and settings in various hues of blacks, grays, and whites. He then digitally colorized the pictures with various day-glo oranges, yellows, greens, and pinks. At first, these colors are really pale, and there is just a little bit of color on each page As the Spitzers refine their invention, the colors become brighter and brighter, and there is more color on each page. Really clever!

In the back of the book, Chris Barton explains where he got the idea for the book, and how he did his research. He also includes a page about how regular and daylight fluorescence work. And if you want a quick, simple, explanation of fluorescence vs. day-glo fluorescence, check out this Charlesbridge site.

No comments: