Bob and Joe Switzer were just two boys having fun; riding in airplanes, practicing magic tricks and inventing stuff. They liked to problem solve by thinking up interesting solutions to problems.
Joe liked magic tricks and read in the magazine Popular Science about how ultraviolet lamps, called black lights, made some substances glow in the dark. The brothers made some glow-in-the-dark paint and figured out ways to use them to jazz up Joe’s magic act. Then they figured out something really unique, how to get colors to glow in the daylight – and a legend was born.
You see day-glo colors all the time now, on signs or in markers or even on clothes, but none of that was possible until Bob and Joe got curious and then got to work. I loved reading about these guys! Author: Chris Barton
If you love airplanes, ask a grownup to take you to the Indianapolis Air Showat the Mt. Comfort Airport this weekend, June 5-7, 2009. On the website you can see all the different kinds of planes and activities that will be going on there. You can see the Blue Angels, historic airplanes and a lot more.
If you can’t go to the airshow and just love airplanes, try out some of the paper creations in this book. The directions are really clear with color photographs to help you make the folds correctly. The planes start out easy and get harder and harder as you move through the book. The last plane requires 18 folds! The author even includes some tips for getting these planes to fly far.
The Komodo Dragon is the largest living species of lizard. These lizards can grow to be 6-10 feet long! The Komodo Dragon lives on islands in Indonesia. People in Indonesia call them “land crocodiles.” Nothing on the islands preys on Komodo Dragons, so they can grow BIG and LONG. And if that isn’t impressive enough, they have teeth like sharks and poisonous spit! You can get an up close look at them all summer at the Indianapolis Zoo. (Keep your fingers out of the cage, though, OK?!) The exhibit, called Dragons of Komodo, opens today, May 23, 2009 and will stay until September 7, 2009.
You probably already know that President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated while he watched a play at the Ford Theater and that the man who shot him was John Wilke’s Booth. Did you know, though, that Booth made a run for it? Did you know he had helpers? And some of them were women? This is the story of how the law tracked each of these people down. At the time of Lincoln’s death, there was no such thing as DNA fingerprinting or ballistics tests for firearms. The lawmen had to piece together what happened and who was involved by interviewing people, following hunches and figuring out who was telling the truth. I like history books that make history interesting by telling a story with real live characters in it. This book is like that.
Amelia Earhart was a female airlane pilot in the days when women just didn’t do things like that. What’s so great about Amelia Earhart is that she thought everybody should think for themselves, whether that person was a boy or a girl. Her advice was that you should figure out what you want to do and then go out and do it. She didn’t think being a boy or a girl mattered at all.
“I want to do it because I want to do it. Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failure must be but a challenge to others.” Amelia was made famous all over the world when she became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic. When she failed to return from her attempt to fly around the world, she became a legend. Author: Shelley Tanaka Illustrator: David Craig