Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Day-Glo Brothers: The True Story of Bob and Joe Switzer's Bright Ideas and Brand-new Colors


Author: Chris Barton
Illustrator:   Tony Persiani
Publisher:  Charlesbridge
Publication Year:   2009
Location: Knox County Public Library- Lawson McGhee

Awards:   Sibert Honor; Publisher's Weekly, School Library Journal, & Kirkus Best Books, Cybils Best Picture Book

Summary:  This is the story of two brothers: Joe who was a magician and Bob who studies to be a doctor. While in university, Bob had a summer job at a kitchup factory where he was hurt and damaged his memory. While he was recovering in the basement, his brother Joe was experimenting with black lights which made things glow. He was hoping to use this is his magic act, and Bob wanted to help him. They built an ultraviolet lamp and saw that it made the label on a bottle glow. They added the chemicals to paint that glowed under the lamps and were soon used for costumes, posters, toys, and magic acts. Eventually they learned to add alcohol to the paint and created glowing fluorescent paint! The paint was used for many purposes during World War II and then moved to popular life. The illustrations begin in simple black and white and gradually the day-glo colors take over until the final few spreads absolutely pop with color.

Classroom Ideas: classroom study of biography, science & scientist, accidental discoveries

Extras: Addendums on how fluorescence works, author's note on how Barton got interested in the story (reading the obituary of Bob Switzer), list of sources

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