Book of the Week: On a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein

July 15, 2013

On a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein

Images and text by Carter.

Sometimes real life makes the best stories. On a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein by Jennifer Berne and Vladimir Radunsky is a celebration of curiosity, imagination, and an insatiable desire to learn. This is a kid with a twinkle in his eye and the verve to figure things out. Things the rest of us ignore, like just how do lumps of sugar disappear into hot tea?

We learn that three-year-old Little Albert hasn’t said much, just looked around with wide eyes of wonder. His parents have changed as the years march on, but they are always standing by him. In one illustration, tiny speech bubbles with hand drawn type hover over their heads. The dad says, “So different,” and the mother says, “But so dear.” This moment in the pictures arrested me as I flipped the pages. That love is so dear.

Speaking of the pictures – wow. The illustrations are lively and restrained and so meaningful. The loose lines around characters still contain period style and timeless emotion. I love how he showed the spread of Albert proving that everything is made up of atoms – of course, individual specks of color, making up a whole. And a couple of barefoot, toe-curled feet are an unexpected, adorable detail.

Do you love picture book biographies as much as I do? Remember this one about William Carlos Williams? And this one about Noah Webster is perfect for anyone like me who is word-obsessed.

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July 15, 2013 at 9:13 am
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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jennifer Berne July 15, 2013 at 8:02 am

Gabrielle, thank you so much for the lovely, insightful and beautifully written review of my book. It was reviewed in the New York Times this past weekend. I wish you had been the reviewer!

All my best to you,


2 Carter Higgins July 15, 2013 at 9:51 am

Oh, Jennifer, I love that you saw this! It was an instant favorite, the kind you hug to your chest and love forever. So special.


3 Meg July 15, 2013 at 8:07 pm

Thank you so much for sharing this review! I am constantly searching for my books for my young daughter. She’s only 9 months old now…but I know this is one I’ll enjoy reading with her in the future. Thank you!


4 Carter Higgins July 16, 2013 at 9:04 am

Thanks, Meg! You might like the books in this post while she’s so bitty:


5 Amy Hackworth July 15, 2013 at 11:03 pm

Carter, what a treasure! Thanks for sharing this. It’s just beautiful!


6 Carter Higgins July 16, 2013 at 9:02 am

You’re welcome! And you’re right!


7 Barbara | Motherluxe July 16, 2013 at 11:41 pm

We are huge fans of Albert Einstein in our home; posters of him all over my son’s bedroom. Can’t wait to pick this one up… I hope our library has it!! Thanks for sharing :)


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