Sunday, November 10, 2019
The Boy Who Invented the Popsicle: The Cool Science Behind Frank Epperson's Famous Frozen Treat. Written by Anne Renaud and illustrated by Milan Pavlovic. Kids Can Press, 2019. $18.99 ages 5 and up
schoolwork or chores,
Frank could be found ...
adventuring with his brother Cray,
practicing his cornet,
or learning magic tricks.
He also pondered important
questions ... "
Even as a young boy, born in 1894, Frank William Epperson had a dream for himself. He wanted to invent things - great things. He wanted to be known for his inventions. His mind was filled with questions, and he was not afraid to ask them.
"Do goldfish sleep?
Do ants have ears?
Do woodpeckers get headaches from pecking all day?"
All questions seemed worthy of asking and trying to find answers. Frank also loved to experiment, using the back porch as his lab and coming up with design after design for a wide variety of inventions. First was a 'handcar with two handles'. It went twice as fast as those with only one handle. Eureka! He also loved to experiment with liquids; his favorite were flavored soda waters. He loved the sounds, the smells, and the taste of all those bubbles on his tongue. He bought various flavored powders and used them for experimenting with taste.
Never one to give up, Frank was constantly working to make the neighborhood a better place for the children, and he was always in charge of the soda water stand. One day when the outside temperature suddenly plummeted, Frank got to thinking about what might happen to a liquid left outside on a cold night. Morning came, and Frank was able to enjoy 'a frozen drink on a stick!' What a surprise!
He never forgot about that icy stick as years passed. As father to a growing family, he remembered that drink and wondered if it might bring him fame and fortune. He worked tirelessly to perfect it. Finally, he could make enough to sell at county fairs. He called them Ep-sicles. Finally, one of his kids inspired the new name - the name we continue to call them today. Pop-sicle!
The science experiments included are perfect for inspiring budding scientists to try their hand at some of the investigations Frank was trying. An author's note provides additional information about Frank and his many successes. Archival photos are wonderful, and a bibliography provides for further reading.
This is a great read aloud; it tells about one intrepid inventor who would not give up on his dream. Milan Pavlovic provides fabulous historical and inviting illustrations and an impressive design.