Born in Scotland more than 250 years ago, William Playfair was a dreamer who “saw the world differently from other people.” Unfortunately, this difference sometimes got in the way of his success. Early on, as he attempted to apply his unique perspective to a series of career opportunities in order to gain “riches! fame! glory!” he instead suffered one failure after another. Then, while writing a book about economics, Will's innovative vision inspired an idea that would set him apart: he created the first modern line graph. Next came a bar graph and later a pie chart. These infographic inventions provided a way for numbers to be seen as pictures, which made them easier to understand and to remember --- and thus changed the way the world would interact with data forever. With this story of an unconventional man whose creative expressions revolved around math, science, engineering and technology, bestselling author Helaine Becker has created the perfect picture book introduction to STEM education. It would easily find use across curriculums in the classroom. On one level, it is a well-told and engaging biography of an intriguing man, illustrated with humor by Marie-Ève Tremblay. But it also explores math concepts such as measurement and geometry, as well as history, with sidebars on subjects such as the Industrial Revolution and steam engines. In addition, the book teaches the important lesson that everyone should follow their own curiosities to wherever they lead. The end matter includes historical notes, as well as more detailed explanations of the three types of graphs.
Helaine Becker is an award-winning children's author. She has written over seventy books, including the #1 Canadian National Bestseller, A Porcupine in a Pine Tree. She lives in Toronto, Ontario.
Marie-Ève Tremblay is a travel junkie who finds inspiration in her trips abroad, be it from nature or situations in everyday life. Her take on the world is full of affection and humor, and her images are set apart by their warm tones, curious candor and gentle whimsy. She has illustrated numerous children's books, as well as for magazines, TV series and much more. Marie-Éve is represented by Colagene, Creative Clinic.
This attractive package about an overlooked subject is a great choice to inspire nascent dreamers and makers.—Booklist
An unusual and useful curricular choice for today's students ...—Kirkus Reviews
... a modest and quirky underdog story that underscores the rewards of outside-the-box thinking ...—Publishers Weekly
... a valuable addition to a school library while being equally useful in a personal collection, succeeding both as a research tool and as a biographical story.—CM Magazine
... a welcome option for STEM and biography collections.—School Library Journal