Monday, June 15, 2015

Mesmerized (2015)

Mesmerized: How Ben Franklin Solved A Mystery That Baffled All of France. Mara Rockliff. Illustrated by Iacopo Bruno. 2015. Candlewick. 48 pages. [Source: Review copy]
The day Ben Franklin first set foot in Paris, France, he found the city all abuzz. Everyone was talking about something new--remarkable thrilling and strange. Something called science. Parisians giggled at a gas that nobody could see--till it went up in flames. Voila! They gasped at the balloon that floated high above the rooftops carrying a duck, a rooster, and a very nervous sheep. And they went absolutely gaga over the American in the peculiar fur hat. Because everyone had heard about Ben Franklin's famous kite experiment, which showed that lightning was the same as electricity. But soon all Paris was abuzz about somebody new. Someone remarkable--thrilling--and definitely strange. Someone called Dr. Mesmer.
I was surprised by how much I enjoyed reading Mesmerized. I can't say I came to the book with an interest in the subject. But the storytelling won me over by the end. It is about Benjamin Franklin, Dr. Mesmer, the scientific method, the placebo effect, and hypnosis. The book does more than tell young readers about the scientific method, the book shows the scientific method in action.
This picture book is a good example that nonfiction can be compelling and fascinating. Storytelling doesn't have to be fiction to be good, to be entertaining.

 I really enjoyed the text of this one. I did. But I found myself LOVING the illustrations.

© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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