It’s time for ice-cream and cake and a hearty happy book birthday to a very special book from a very special writer friend of mine, Beth Anderson. I remember reading the early drafts of this manuscript a number of years ago – and I’m thrilled that it is now a real book!!!

Written by Beth Anderson – Illustrated by Caroline Hamel – Published by Kids Can Press

Here’s a bit about the book from the Amazon sales page:

For every child who longs to make the most amazing thing, here’s a delightful picture book biography of a determined self-taught inventor who never stops following the call to imagine, discover, create.

From the time he is a small boy, Franz is curious about machines and how they work. He wants to try to build his own. Even though he’s needed to work on the family farm, and later marries and has a family of his own, Franz never gives up on his dream. He learns and tries and tests his ideas all on his own. And though many people don’t understand or appreciate Franz’s work, when his fantastic, complex creation is completed at long last, he finally finds an audience that recognizes his genius.

Beth Anderson’s uplifting picture book biography offers an engaging look at the inspiring life of Franz Gsellmann, an inventor from rural Austria who, with no formal artistic or engineering training, built an elaborate, intricate machine called the Weltmaschine (World Machine). The well-told story extols the joy of curiosity and inventing for inventing’s sake, and explores the concept of mechanical-kinetic sculptures, in which art and science intersect. Whimsical illustrations by Caroline Hamel help bring the subject to life. Supporting backmatter includes an author’s note, resources, a biography of Franz, an explanation of the machine, a search-and-find activity and questions to get children thinking about their own ideas that could lead to fun classroom activities. This book has strong STEAM curriculum links, particularly in technology and structures, and valuable character education lessons in courage, perseverance and resilience.

This is such a fabulous book to encourage every young tinkerer to keep on tinkering! And please remember that the books we love will be successful if we buy them, review them, tell friends about them, and ask our local library to purchase copies for their collection.

Photo courtesy: https://www.hellowonderful.co/post/6-creative-tinkering-projects-for-kids/

If you are looking for projects to encourage creative young minds: https://www.hellowonderful.co/post/6-creative-tinkering-projects-for-kids/

And if you are looking for challenges to encourage your young writers, please think about participating in #50PreciousWordsforKids – parents and teachers can email their children’s 50-word or less stories to me: viviankirkfield@gmail.com and I will post them all in a special Mother’s Day blogpost on Sunday, May 8.

15 thoughts on “Happy Book Birthday: FRANZ’S PHANTASMAGORICAL MACHINE

  1. OOOH, the title ALONE GOT ME!!! “PHANTASMAGORICAL” is one of my FAVORITE words! The storyline and WHIMSICAL illustrations make for a PERFECT match! I CAN’T WAIT to read this one!


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