Albie's First Word: A Tale Inspired by Albert Einstein's Childhood Hardcover – October 28, 2014

$16.29 (as of February 1, 2019, 12:10 pm)

Here’s a beautiful historical fiction picture book that provides a rare glimpse into the early childhood of Albert Einstein, the world’s most famous physicist. Three-year-old Albie has never said a single word. When his worried mother and father consult a doctor, he advises them to expose little Albie to new things: a trip to the orchestra, an astronomy lecture, a toy boat race in the park. But though Albie dances with excitement at each new experience, he remains silent. Finally, the thoughtful, quiet child witnesses something so incredible, he utters his very first word: “Why?” Kids, parents, and teachers will be delighted and reassured by this joyous story of a child who develops a bit differently than others.”More than a distinctive introduction to Albert Einstein, this book promotes both understanding of difference and scientific curiosity.” –Kirkus Reviews, Starred

From School Library Journal

K-Gr 3—Though he can build an astonishing house of cards and take his father’s compass apart and reassemble it, little Albie just may not talk. When his concerned parents consult the doctor, he advises them to expose the tyke to new experiences. A commute to the symphony and an astronomy lecture excite the youngster but fail to inspire speech. Based on Einstein and his sister’s actual accounts, this fictionalized version of the three-year-old’s delayed speech and much-awaited first word is a surprising and entertaining introduction to the subject. Whilst the endpapers are covered with mathematical formulas, and an writer’s note offers insight into the physicist’s accomplishments, the tale can stand on its own as an amusing picture book in addition to offer obvious reassurance for families dealing with speech delays. The oil-glazed illustrations are clever and lively. They capture the boy’s spirit and curiosity Whilst clothing and homely furnishings capture the era. Little Albie’s exaggerated eyes, ears, and cheekbones give him a reasonably comical appearance reminiscent of Boris Kulikov’s characters. Follow this story up with Jennifer Berne’s On a Beam of Light (Chronicle, 2013) or Don Brown’s Bizarre Boy Out (Houghton Harcourt, 2004) for science or biography units.—Barbara Auerbach, New York City Public Schools

Review

“The simple story is told with heart, suspense and gentle humor […] More than a distinctive introduction to Albert Einstein, this book promotes both understanding of difference and scientific curiosity.” —Kirkus Reviews, Starred

See all Editorial Reviews
Here’s a beautiful historical fiction picture book that provides a rare glimpse into the early childhood of Albert Einstein, the world’s most famous physicist. Three-year-old Albie has never said a single word. When his worried mother and father consult a doctor, he advises them to expose little Albie to new things: a commute to the orchestra, an astronomy lecture, a toy boat race in the park. But though Albie dances with excitement at each new experience, he remains silent. In spite of everything, the thoughtful, quiet child witnesses something so fantastic, he utters his very first word: “Why?” Kids, parents, and teachers will be delighted and reassured by this joyous story of a child who develops a bit otherwise than others.”More than a distinctive introduction to Albert Einstein, this book promotes both understanding of difference and scientific curiosity.” –Kirkus Reviews, Starred