Nonfiction Monday: The Day-Glo Brothers by Chris Barton

The Day-Glo Brothers is subtitled “The True Story of Bob and Joe Switzer’s Bright Ideas and Brand-New Colors.”

These are the closest examples I could get of Day-Glo (fluorescent) colors:

Fluorescent Green
Day-Glo Yellow
Day-Glo Orange

They’re those colors that crossing guards wear and that characterized the 1960’s, and they glow in the daylight or when illuminated by an ultraviolet light source. The Switzer brothers, Bob and Joe, invented these colors just before World War II, and the colors became useful in wartime, especially on aircraft carriers and in naval warfare and rescue, and later in peacetime as companies and individuals began to think of multiple uses for these easily visible colors.

I can see how a book like this one might inspire young inventors and scientists who are still in elementary school to think about the many unexplored areas of science and about the intersections between science and other disciplines, in this case art and advertising. Mr. Barton tells the story in straightforward prose and yet includes enough anecdotes about the Switzers’ lives and personalities to keep readers interested. The bright Day-Glo illustrations on black background complement the story perfectly.

Buy some Day-Glo make-up.
Day-Glo Brothers Activity and Discussion Guide
Chris Barton’s blog, Bartography.

This book has been nominated for the Cybil Award in the Nonfiction Picture Book category. I received my copy of Day-Glo Brothers from the publisher for the purpose of review. Nonfiction Monday is hosted today at Jean Little Library.

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