Does your child refuse to wear socks? You could be looking at the next Einstein. Jennifer Berne’s heartwarming account of Einstein’s life touches on not only his famous works but also his famous idiosyncrasies, such as wearing the same baggy pants everywhere and not speaking for almost three years after he was born. Kids will love the simple explanations of Einstein’s big ideas, and the sympathetic portrayal of a boy who doesn’t do great in school but loves to think and figure things out. Vladimir Radunsky’s gorgeous, messy illustrations make Einstein’s creativity leap off the page. Berne and Radunsky do a great job of humanizing Einstein, who is such an institution that children may only know him as an equation. On a Beam of Light reminds us that imagination is important, and that thinking is valuable. A great message for the little scientist in your life!
On a Beam of Light by Jennifer Berne, illustrated by Vladimir Radunsky; Chronicle Books; $17.99; 6-9 yrs