SPIC-AND-SPAN!: LILLIAN GILBERT’S WONDER KITCHEN by Monica Kulling tells the inspiring true story of an ingenious woman who used creativity and perseverance to succeed. From factory assembly lines to kitchen layouts, Lillian Gilbreth spent her life looking for ways to make everyday tasks more efficient. The mother of eleven children, she applied what she learned at home to inventions and ideas that everyone could use.
Monica Kulling’s narrative skillfully weaves useful facts into a fascinating story, while David Parkins’ appealing illustrations match perfectly with the tone of this informational reading experience.
SPIC-AND-SPAN is Monica Kulling’s latest addition to her popular “Great Idea” series featuring the lives of inventors and their inventions. Use the books in a literature circle focusing on informational reading, biography, and inventions.
Unfortunately, children aren’t likely to pick up this book on their own. Teachers librarians will need to think of creative ways to market SPIC-AND-SPAN with children. Consider ways to connect the book with other science and engineering books. Or, focus on the biographical elements and connect them with other books about people. This would be a wonderful book to feature during Women’s History Month. Build a display focusing on woman engineers.
There are some excellent websites focusing on the life of Lillian Gilbreth. Develop an activity that asks students to compare the book to information they find on the web about this exceptional woman. Talk to children about comparing three different sources of information.
Download a Teacher’s Guide for the book at https://tundrabooks.files.wordpress.com/…/spic-and-span_gui….
Published in 2014 by Tundra Books. The publisher provided a print copy for this review.