What if elevators had never been invented? If you live in the city, it is likely the world around you would look very different. At the World’s Fair in New York in 1853, Elisha Otis presented his invention for a passenger elevator. His invention would go on to change the architectural landscape of the world, allowing for the creation of skyscrapers. Going Up! is the story of Otis’ journey from a farmhand to the height of inventive success.
Going Up! Elisha Otis’s Trip to the Top by Monica Kulling and illustrated by David Parkins is the newest installment in Tundra Books’ “Great Idea Series.” Told in a simple narrative style, this book offers a delightful introduction to a U.S. historical figure and an invention that is nowadays taken for granted.
I appreciated that the author kept true to Otis’ story rather than smoothing things out for simplicity’s sake. For example, Otis’ first wife died and he remarried. It would have been easy to just say he was married and leave it at that, but Kulling didn’t. It is the inclusion of such details that makes this book stand out. Not only does this story tell of Otis’ invention, it also provides clues about life in the 1800s.
The realistic, yet animated, illustrations suit the story well. The characters’ faces are wonderfully expressive and really show off Otis’ personality. I especially liked that Otis’ beard grew with his age—a nice touch!
Going Up! is the perfect book for classrooms, young inquisitive minds and future inventors.
♥ ♥ ♥ (3/5 hearts)
This book was generously provided by Tundra Books in exchange for my honest review.