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.