A delightfully unconventional tale, Edison: The Mystery of the Missing Mouse Treasure by German author and illustrator Torben Kuhlmann will appeal to children with a sense of adventure and an inventor’s imagination.
Pete, a young and curious mouse, is determined to find a family treasure that was lost at sea when the ship carrying Pete’s intrepid ancestor sank. With the help of a wise Professor, Pete researches, designs and builds a submarine. Clever and resourceful, the two mice discover plans for the invention that changed the course of human, and mouse, history.
While Edison reads like a chapter book, Kuhlmann smartly lets his illustrations do much of the talking. Delicately detailed, each image is endlessly intriguing. Submarine blueprints, old-timey “photos” and illustrated newspaper clippings draw together both the minuscule world of mice and the vast depths of the sea. Kuhlmann’s art varies from black-and-white sketches to immense full-color spreads, all of which seem infused with the sepia tones of a bygone era.
Concluding notes from Kuhlmann give readers a brief history of the lightbulb and a short bio on Thomas Edison. While it’s unlikely that Pete’s furry ancestor truly created the lightbulb, readers might be surprised by the debate surrounding its true inventor. A substantial book, Edison is a bit lengthy for a one-sitting read for very little listeners. However, kid-friendly chapters and extensive illustrations will keep readers hooked and looking for treasure.