Title: Ben Franklin and the Magic Squares
Author: Frank Murphy
Series: Step Into Reading, step 4
Major Themes: Benjamin Franklin, Easy Readers, Mathematics, Picture Books, Colonial Era (US)
Synopsis: What should Ben Franklin do when he was bored to tears while listening to people arguing about laws?
We have been enjoying reading about Benjamin Franklin lately. He is a fascinating person to learn about! Not only was he a famous leader in America during the Revolutionary War, he also had many scientific interests, and his inventions made a difference in many people’s lives. Ben Franklin and the Magic Squares talked about his interest in mathematics. We really enjoyed this one!
This book begins by talking about Ben’s inventions. He began as a boy, when he made himself swim fins for his hands and feet. Later, he invented a rocking chair that fanned him…and founded a library and a fire department…and printed the most famous almanac in America. Then, he became a clerk for the Pennsylvania Assembly.
Being a clerk had to be the most boring job ever, for such a man as Ben Franklin. We really chuckled at the pictures in this part of the book. How could he combat the boredom? Enter…Magic Squares! Read about how he invented them and the discoveries he made.
Ben Franklin and the Magic Squares is an easy reader—the type of book I love to have on my shelf for my children to practice reading with when they need something interesting but still easy. I like ones like this, that tell a real story from history. The pictures in this one are fun, too. They are somewhat cartoonish, but in such a way that they really help tell the story. And, there is an even more fun element to the illustrations—something to look for on each page or two-page spread! (Hint…Ben Franklin apparently had an odd pet!)
Read Aloud—Ages 3 – 4, 5 – 8
Reading Independently—Ages 7 – 9