Lines, Bars and Circles

Helaine Becker
Marie-Ève Tremblay

Born in Scotland more than 250 years ago, William Playfair was a dreamer who “saw the world differently from other people.” Unfortunately, this difference sometimes got in the way of his success. Early on, as he attempted to apply his unique perspective to a series of career opportunities in order to gain “riches! fame! glory!” he instead suffered one failure after another. Then, while writing a book about economics, Will's innovative vision inspired an idea that would set him apart: he created the first modern line graph. Next came a bar graph and later a pie chart. These infographic inventions provided a way for numbers to be seen as pictures, which made them easier to understand and to remember --- and thus changed the way the world would interact with data forever.

With this story of an unconventional man whose creative expressions revolved around math, science, engineering and technology, bestselling author Helaine Becker has created the perfect picture book introduction to STEM education. It would easily find use across curriculums in the classroom. On one level, it is a well-told and engaging biography of an intriguing man, illustrated with humor by Marie-Ève Tremblay. But it also explores math concepts such as measurement and geometry, as well as history, with sidebars on subjects such as the Industrial Revolution and steam engines. In addition, the book teaches the important lesson that everyone should follow their own curiosities to wherever they lead. The end matter includes historical notes, as well as more detailed explanations of the three types of graphs.

978-1-77138-570-1 | Apr 4, 2017
List Price: USD $17.95, CAD $18.95
4-color 9 x 10 36 pages
Grades: 1 To 4 / Ages: 6 to 9

Educational Resources


Awards & Reviews

“This attractive package about an overlooked subject is a great choice to inspire nascent dreamers and makers.”
— Booklist, January 2017
“An unusual and useful curricular choice for today's students ...”
— Kirkus Reviews, January 2017
“... a modest and quirky underdog story that underscores the rewards of outside-the-box thinking ...”
— Publishers Weekly, March 2017
“... a valuable addition to a school library while being equally useful in a personal collection, succeeding both as a research tool and as a biographical story.”
— CM Magazine, April 2017
“... a welcome option for STEM and biography collections.”
— School Library Journal, May 2017
2018 - Best Children's Books of the Year, Bank Street College, Winner
2017 - Eureka! Honor Award, California Reading Association, Winner
2017 - Best Books for Kids & Teens, Starred Selection, Canadian Children's Book Centre, Winner

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