Tuesday, October 29, 2019

THE CRAYON MAN: THE INVENTION OF THE CRAYOLA CRAYON by Natascha Biebow, illustrated by Steven Salerno

Once there was a man who saw color EVERYWHERE.

     He noticed the yellow-orange petals of the black-eyed Susans
         in his garden. He marvelled at the rich scarlet-red tones of
             the cardinal's feathers. He admired the deep blue-greens
                 of the waves in the sea. 

                         Color made him really, really HAPPY!

So begins Natascha Bierbow's picture book biography about Edwin Binney, the man who invented crayola crayons. Binney worked at a factory where carbon black, a substance used in things like printing inks and shoe polish, was made. In his spare time, Binney invented slate pencils and a wax crayon that would write on wood and paper packaging. When his wife told him that children needed better and cheaper crayons, Binney went to work. And all of us know the result....

End pages include a two-page spread about how crayons are made today, and another page with more information about Edwin Binney.

Pair this with MAGIC RAMEN and POP, also Chris Barton's WHOOSH!

Saturday, October 26, 2019

MAGIC RAMEN by Andrea Wang, illustrated by Kana Urbanowicz

My middle schoolers love, love, love their ramen noodles.

And I'm pretty sure they will love this picture book biography that describes how Momofuku Ando invented ramen noodles shortly after World War II.  Thinking MAGIC RAMEN would pair really well with POP: THE INVENTION OF BUBBLE GUM by MEGHAN McCARTHY. Or make a nice addition to a unit on persistence.

End pages include an author's note, a pronunciation guide, and an afterword with additional information about Momofuku Ando.