Barton, Chris. 2009. THE DAY-GLO BROTHERS THE TRUE STORY OF BOB AND JOE SWITZER’S BRIGHT IDEAS AND BRAND-NEW COLORS. Ill. by Tony Persiani. Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge. ISBN 9781570916731 [Suggested Grade Levels 2- 6]
The true story of the two men who created a new color, this picture book about history and science tells of the accidental discovery of day-glo paint by Bob and Joe Switzer. The complicated subjects of fluorescence, ultraviolet light, and their subsequent discovery of the day-glo colors are explained in an easy-to-understand narrative filled with fascinating back story set against the goals and dreams of two brothers and their personal limitations.
The art provides a backdrop for the text. Tony Persiani’s black and white illustrations at the beginning of the book gives way to muted colors as the story progresses, while the final spreads have the cartoon-like figures of the brothers moving about in brilliant, day-glo colors. Gray and black outlines accent the illustrations while providing a backdrop of the times. The final two spreads explain the difference between regular fluorescence and daylight, or day-glo, fluorescence and how the author came to write the book, as well as his fascinating primary source research with the Switzer family.
Read Kathleen Krull’s book, THE BOY WHO INVENTED TV. Compare the interests of the two boys and how it affected their futures, including the change in career direction Bob Switzer had to take following his accident and the impact it had on his discovery. Charlesbridge has an animated explanation of fluorescence that explains the process and demonstrated the physics behind light waves on the Web: http://www.charlesbridge.com/client/client_pages/day-glo-brothers/day-glo-home.html
Other books for children about inventors and inventions:
Hopkins, Lee Bennett. INCREDIBLE INVENTIONS. ISBN 9780060872458
Krull, Kathleen. THE BOY WHO INVENTED TV: THE STORY OF PHILO FRANSWORTH. ISBN 9780375845611