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|Albie's first word : a tale inspired by Albert Einstein's childhood|
Author: Tourville, Jacqueline
Because three-year-old Albie, who would one day be known as Albert Einstein, has never spoken his concerned family takes him to a doctor who recommends a series of activities that might stimulate him to talk.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 3.90
Points: .5 Quiz: 170852
Kirkus Reviews (+) (09/15/14)
School Library Journal (12/01/14)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 10/15/2014 Spun from a remark of Albert Einstein’s that he took several years to begin talking, this mostly extrapolated tale takes a silent yet expressive lad through a series of experiences: family outings, concerts, a science lecture, and a model boat race. Despite the best efforts of his loving, worried parents and a wise doctor to elicit some comment or remark, little Albie never says a word—though he smiles, hums, gesticulates, and takes a lively interest in everything. Evans’ accomplished, atmospheric illustrations set apart this variation on a well-known aspect of Einstein’s childhood. In warm, softly focused scenes washed with golden light, Evans depicts a bright-eyed, large-headed child with amusingly recognizable features, and places him in a fully and carefully detailed late-nineteenth-century setting. Albie at last gives verbal expression after seeing a shower of falling stars: “Why?” An extended note introduces Einstein in greater detail and explains that while many of the story’s specifics are invented, its core, his parents’ fear he might never learn, is true. A reassuring episode for late bloomers, and their parents, too. - Copyright 2014 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 12/01/2014 K-Gr 3—Though he can build an astonishing house of cards and take his father's compass apart and reassemble it, little Albie just won't talk. When his concerned parents consult the doctor, he advises them to expose the tyke to new experiences. A trip to the symphony and an astronomy lecture excite the youngster but fail to inspire speech. Based on Einstein and his sister's actual accounts, this fictionalized version of the three-year-old's delayed speech and much-awaited first word is a surprising and entertaining introduction to the subject. While the endpapers are covered with mathematical formulas, and an author's note offers insight into the physicist's accomplishments, the tale can stand on its own as an amusing picture book as well as offer obvious reassurance for families dealing with speech delays. The oil-glazed illustrations are clever and lively. They capture the boy's spirit and curiosity while clothing and homely furnishings capture the era. Little Albie's exaggerated eyes, ears, and cheekbones give him a somewhat comical appearance reminiscent of Boris Kulikov's characters. Follow this story up with Jennifer Berne's On a Beam of Light (Chronicle, 2013) or Don Brown's Odd Boy Out (Houghton Harcourt, 2004) for science or biography units.—Barbara Auerbach, New York City Public Schools - Copyright 2014 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.