Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Day-Glo Brothers

The Day-Glo Brothers, written by Chris Barton and illustrated by Tony Persiani, tells the true story of Bob and Joe Switzer, inventors of Day-Glo colors. The Switzer brothers, like most inventors, are curious and like to solve problems. Experimenting with colors to help with Joe's magic act, the brothers learned how to make glow-in-the-dark paints which eventually led to their invention of Day-Glo. This invention helped save lives in World War II and became a permanent cultural fixture in the Sixties.

Chris Barton does a terrific job of taking a complex subject (fluorescence) and turning it into an accessible and interesting picture book. Tony Persiani's illustrations are vibrant and fun.
The Day-Glo Brothers is another nonfiction read that can inspire students to be curious and dream big. I see several possible uses for this book. You can add it to your biography collection (contrast with the Wright brothers), read it as part of a science unit on light, and use it to teach sequence. Definitely check out this cool link that shows an animation of how regular and daylight fluorescence work.

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