Here's a beautiful historical fiction picture book that provides a rare glimpse into the early childhood of Albert Einstein, the world's most famous physicist.
Three-year-old Albie has never said a single word. When his worried mother and father consult a doctor, he advises them to expose little Albie to new things: a trip to the orchestra, an astronomy lecture, a toy boat race in the park. But though Albie dances with excitement at each new experience, he remains silent. Finally, the thoughtful, quiet child witnesses something so incredible, he utters his very first word. Can you guess what it is?
Kids, parents, and teachers will be delighted and reassured by this joyous story of a child who develops a bit differently than others.
Why a book about Einstein’s childhood? Like most people, I’ve always known Albert Einstein as the wild-haired genius who revolutionized the world of physics, the free-thinker who spoke out for world peace, and the rumpled professor whose eyes twinkled as he stuck his tongue out for the camera.
It was while researching an article on child speech development that I first came across mention of Einstein’s late talking. Einstein was born in 1879 in the German town of Ulm, on the Danube River. Exactly how old he was when he uttered his first words, is unknown.. However, Einstein would write, “It is true that my parents were worried because I began to speak relatively late, so much so that they contacted a doctor. I can’t say how old I was, certainly not less than three.”
When I read this quote, suddenly Einstein as a little boy appeared before me. One of daughters was a late talker, so I understand how enigmatic children with delayed speech development can seem, and how worried this trait can make their parents! I researched more about Einstein’s childhood and imagined that first moment when the hesitant speaker finally said something.