Franz's Phantasmagorical Machine (Hardcover)

Franz's Phantasmagorical Machine By Beth Anderson, Caroline Hamel (Illustrator) Cover Image

Franz's Phantasmagorical Machine (Hardcover)

By Beth Anderson, Caroline Hamel (Illustrator)


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For every child who longs to make the most amazing thing, here’s a delightful picture book biography of a determined self-taught inventor who never stops following the call to imagine, discover, create.

From the time he is a small boy, Franz is curious about machines and how they work. He wants to try to build his own. Even though he’s needed to work on the family farm, and later marries and has a family of his own, Franz never gives up on his dream. He learns and tries and tests his ideas all on his own. And though many people don’t understand or appreciate Franz’s work, when his fantastic, complex creation is completed at long last, he finally finds an audience that recognizes his genius.

Beth Anderson’s uplifting picture book biography offers an engaging look at the inspiring life of Franz Gsellmann, an inventor from rural Austria who, with no formal artistic or engineering training, built an elaborate, intricate machine called the Weltmaschine (World Machine). The well-told story extols the joy of curiosity and inventing for inventing’s sake, and explores the concept of mechanical-kinetic sculptures, in which art and science intersect. Whimsical illustrations by Caroline Hamel help bring the subject to life. Supporting backmatter includes an author’s note, resources, a biography of Franz, an explanation of the machine, a search-and-find activity and questions to get children thinking about their own ideas that could lead to fun classroom activities. This book has strong STEAM curriculum links, particularly in technology and structures, and valuable character education lessons in courage, perseverance and resilience.

Beth Anderson is a former educator and the author of An Inconvenient Alphabet, Lizzie Demands a Seat! and several other books for children. When she's not writing, she might be weaving, gardening, exploring nature or playing with her grandkids. Born and raised in Illinois, she now lives near the mountains in Colorado.
Caroline Hamel worked in graphic design and advertising before creating a travel diary that sparked a love for illustration. She has illustrated several books for French-language publishers and now works full time as an illustrator and designer from her home in Montreal, Quebec.
Product Details ISBN: 9781525303258
ISBN-10: 1525303252
Publisher: Kids Can Press
Publication Date: May 3rd, 2022
Pages: 32
Language: English
A thought-provoking and stimulating historical episode.—Kirkus Reviews

[a] love letter to both unquenchable curiosity and outsider art.—Publishers Weekly

This tale of perseverance will do a great job of fostering experimentation and creativity ...—BookList