Earmuffs for Everyone!

How Chester Greenwood
Became Known as
the Inventor of Earmuffs

This post joins other
kidlit bloggers at
Nonfiction Monday Roundup
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What are you reading?
(published 1.6.2015) 48 pages

A True Tale with A Cherry On Top 

A uthor and Illustrator: Meghan McCarthy 

C haracter: Chester Greenwood

O verview from the jacket flap: 

    "'Everyone loves earmuffs! But have you ever wondered who invented the earmuff?
      In Maine in the late 1800s there was a young boy named Chester Greenwood. His ears were always cold during the long winter, and he decided to do something about it. He made ear covers from wire and cloth and asked his granny to help him sew them. Chester later patented his earmuffs in 1877 when he was nineteen years old. And, as the story goes, earmuffs were born." 

antalizing taste:  

     "As the story goes, he had gigantic ears, and they were sensitive to the cold. He didn't like to wrap his head in scratchy scarves, so...
      Earmuffs were born.
      Obviously, the story isn't quite true, since earmuffs had already been born many years earlier...
      What do we think really happened?
      What we do know for sure is that after testing various versions of his earmuffs, when Chester was just nineteen, he got one of these from the US government ... a patent!"
and something more:  In the "A Note about This Book", Meghan McCarthy explains her process of finding an idea for a book: "I work on every book with a bit of free association. For EARMUFFS FOR EVERYONE I started doing searches on the Internet - 'unique inventors,' 'odd inventions'- until ultimately I put in the words 'kid inventors.' That's when I read about Chester Greenwood [and] knew that Chester was going to be the topic of my next book. What I didn't know was how hard it would be to extract the truth from the fiction."  She aptly discusses the nuances of ascertaining who is "the inventor" of something when ideas are built upon previous ideas. This section also has a good kid-friendly discussion of patents and the patent process.
     And I was intrigued to learn that there's even a parade celebrating Chester Greenwood Day that takes place every December in Farmington, Maine. Guess what everyone wears?


Myra Garces Bacsal said...

Oohlala. Looks like a fun book! Will check it out.

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

Hi Myra! Yes, it's a fun book and informative too! Thanks for stopping by!

Cheriee Weichel said...

I love it when the author gives background material for how they came to pick a topic for their book. I'll look forward to reading this one.

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

Hi Cheriee,

So glad you stopped by and enjoyed learning about the background material of this book.