Title: The Fantastic Ferris Wheel: the story of inventor George Ferris
Author: Betsy Harvey Kraft
Recommended for: Ages 5 to 9
Call Number/Link: E B FERRIS, G
Synopsis: The World’s Fair in Chicago, 1893, was to be a spectacular event: architects, musicians, artists, and inventors worked on special exhibits to display the glories of their countries. But the Fair’s planners wanted something really special, something on the scale of the Eiffel Tower, which had been constructed for France’s fair three years earlier. At last, engineer George Ferris had an idea–a crazy, unrealistic, gigantic idea. He would construct a twenty-six-story tall observation wheel. The planners didn’t think it could be done. They called it a ‘monstrosity.’ It wouldn’t be safe. But George fought for his design. Finally, in December 1892, with only four months to go until the fair, George was given permission to build his wheel. He had to fight the tight schedule, bad weather, and general disapproval. Against all odds, the Ferris Wheel turned out to be the talk of the Fair, and proof that dreaming big dreams could pay off. Today, George’s Ferris Wheel is an icon of adventure and amusement throughout the world.
“The writing is crisp, clear, and descriptive, moving the story along at a quick pace. . .The book’s strength are the dramatic, mixed-media illustrations, which capture the enormity of Ferris’s wheel and its spectacular appearance when lit up at night, that steal the show. . .A strong addition to book collections dealing with inventors and inventions and useful for discussing how written texts and illustrations work together.” ―School Library Journal, starred review
I included the review from School Library Journal because I thought it said it all. I found it interesting and informative without getting bogged down in too many details. I learned many things from this book. This could spark the creative juices of any child who is an aspiring engineer.