Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 5 to 8
- Grade: k to 3
In 1818, seven-year-old Elisha was fascinated by farm machinery. As a young man, he tried a variety of ways to make a living, but nothing fired his imagination more than the job he found in a bed-frame factory. Soon he invented a machine that made frames four times faster than ever before. In 1852, while overseeing the construction of a new factory, he had to find a way to move heavy machinery to the second floor. He didn't trust the hoisting platform, so he invented a safety brake. It was so successful that rather than lift machine parts, Elisha decided to build "people-hoisting machines." In 1857, Elisha Otis installed his first successful passenger elevator in a five-storey department store in New York City. Before Elisha's invention, buildings were never higher than six stories. At last it was possible to build skyscrapers!
About the authors
Monica Kulling is the author of over forty books for children, including the popular Great Idea series, stories of inventors. The third book in the series, In the Bag! Margaret Knight Wraps It Up, was nominated for the 2012 Governor General’s Award for illustration and chosen as the 2012 Simon Wiesenthal Honor Book. In addition, Monica’s work has been nominated for numerous Silver Birch Express and Golden Oak awards. Her recent picture books include Lumpito and the Painter from Spain and Mister Dash and the Cupcake Calamity. Monica Kulling lives in Toronto, Canada. Visit her at www.monicakulling.com.
Phyllis Root is the author of BIG MOMMA MAKES THE WORLD and many other award-winning books for children. She says, " Aunt Nancy is my grandmothers and aunts — women who never let the world get the better of them — all rolled into one." She lives in Minneapolis.
David Parkins has illustrated numerous books for children, including WEBSTER J. DUCK by Martin Waddell and EGYPTIAN DIARY by Richard Platt. He lives in Lincoln, England. C
“… In his realistic, fine-lined illustrations, Parkins … captures the narrative’s broad, high-energy tone in images of the inventor with eyes bulging, mouth wide open and arms flung out wildly during various Eureka! moments….”
“Kulling gives lesser-known inventor Elisha Otis a lift in this latest entry into the Great Idea series…. [T]his picture-book biography gives a lively account of Otis’ world-changing invention. Caricatured expressions set against detailed backdrops add playfulness to the informative text.”
Other titles by Monica Kulling
A Story of How the Famous “Migrant Mother” Photograph Became the Face of the Great Depression
How Sara Josephine Baker Saved the Lives of America's Children
Mary Anning's Curiosity
To the Rescue! Garrett Morgan Underground
Great Ideas Series
Clean Sweep! Frank Zamboni's Ice Machine
Great Idea Series