On A Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einsteinby Jennifer Berne (Author), Vladimir Radunsky (Illustrator)
“Curiosity has its own reason for existing.” – Albert Einstein
“On a Beam of Light” is a picture book biography on Albert Einstein. I have read quite a few picture book biographies on Einstein but this is the first and only book that has truly felt engaging and accessible for a younger audience.
How do you explain to young kids about how the mind of a genius physicist works? How do you communicate how a simple beam of light opened a world of wonders for young Einstein? And how do you express the eagerness with which Einstein wanted to learn about the world around him?
“On a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein ” does more!
Berne tells the story of Einstein with great reverence and care. She describes his work through the qualities that drove Einstein to make discoveries. For example: she describes how a simple compass excited Einstein to the point that he shuddered, and thought “what other wondrous things remained to be discovered?”
Berne then goes on to describe how Einstein started to think. To really think and ask questions. How he drove everyone crazy with his questions and how his eagerness to learn the answers drove him to study.
One day he was riding his bike. He saw a beam of light.. and he wondered : How would it feel to ride a bike on that beam of light!
His mind filled with questions, Einstein went on to study about light and sound and heat and magnetism. He discovered the secret language of numbers and the world that opened to him through them.
Berne goes on to describe other discoveries that Einstein made through simple examples and straight forward language. She describes Einstein’s habits and quirks and things that made him unique. She describes him as a curious person, a person who loved science and a man who wanted to be left alone to think and let his mind wonder and wander. But Berne also goes on to tell about a man who found comfort in simple things of life.
She ends the book with a note that Einstein left us with many more big questions; questions that scientists are still working on.
This picture book biography is indeed a gem. Yes it is inspiring to read about Einstein, and even better to read about what really drove the man. You will find in this book many lessons for kids to learn from. But it is equally fun to read and learn about the great man himself. The illustrations, quirky and whimsical, are designed to reflect the eccentricities of Einstein himself. They are cleverly drawn to highlight how Einstein saw the world full of numbers and atoms and beams of light.
“On a Beam of Light” is indeed a “DO NOT MISS” read of this year.