The Fantastic Ferris Wheel

The Fantastic Ferris WheelThe Story of Inventory George Ferris

Written by Betsy Harvey Kraft, Illustrated by Steven Salerno

A long time ago—- more than one hundred years, in fact—- a young boy lay in the grass, thinking. That waterwheel. It goes round and round and round up and down. The current from a nearby stream made the wheel move. The boy watched, fascinated. Maybe there is another way to make a wheel go around, he thought.

Many years later, George Ferris became an engineer and, still having wheels on his mind, visited Chicago in 1892 a city preparing for the World’s Fair. With a challenge issued by Daniel Burnham, the man in charge of planning the Fair, George began to come up with an extraordinary idea. “Make big plans,” Burnham said. And George did; designing an enormous observation wheel where people could see far into the distance. Although his plans were initially turned down, he finally got the go ahead in December 1892. Read The Fantastic Ferris Wheel to continue the true story of George Ferris’s big plan, his wheel that became the most popular attraction at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893. I found this nonfiction picture book just fascinating, from the first idea to finished construction. The story is beautifully illustrated with awesome detail. For those children or anyone who loves to dream and build things, this book is perfect. On the back of the book it says, “MAKE BIG PLANS! The inventor George Ferris certainly did….” Maybe readers of this book will too!

Review by Renee Larsen, Hillside Elementary Media Center
Rating: ★★★★★ (5 stars)
Interest Level: Grades K-3, or anyone interested in inventors

The Fantastic Ferris Wheel: The Story of Inventory George Ferris
Written by Betsy Harvey Kraft, Illustrated by Steven Salerno
Christy Ottaviano Books/Henry Holt and Company
42 pages
Release Date: October 13, 2015

Categories: Elem. – Nonfiction
Tags: Ferris, George 1859-1896, World’s Columbian Exposition (Chicago, Ill. 1893), Inventors-US-Biography, Ferris Wheels

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