Now & Ben: The Modern Inventions of Benjamin Franklin

by Gene Barretta

“It was as if Ben could see into the future. Almost everything he created is... read more

“It was as if Ben could see into the future. Almost everything he created is still around today.” Author Gene Barretta’s witty play on words provides a framework for sharing information about sixteen of Franklin’s creations, discoveries, or improvements on existing ideas, most of which are still around in one form or another. “ Now . . . chairs come in all shapes and sizes. Ben . . . designed two chairs that are still very useful. The writing chair combined a desk and chair into one. The library chair was a combination chair and stepladder.” (Not as enduring were two of Franklin’s rocking chair designs: one had a fan on top to keep the sitter cool; the other churned butter while rocking.) Barretta’s illustrations manage to be both funny and informative, adding to this lighthearted look at Franklin’s inventive mind. (Ages 6–10)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2007

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