A few weeks ago, in the northeast where we currently reside, it snowed. It was still autumn. The snow forced us to think about the inevitable winter that was making its way. It is now December and there are Christmas lights everywhere and it is beginning to feel a lot like Christmas. One thing I do not think about much during this time of year is grass. Our beautifully manicured green lawn has now become dried, brown and frostbitten.
But I am thinking about grass, as I read author Christopher Davis Jr’s book entitled “The Man who invented the lawn mower and other inspirational Black-American inventors and their inventions.”
This picture book highlights the disregarded contributions of Black American inventors, that contributed to the American landscape. This book was written to appeal to Black American kids, to educate and inspire creativity and innovation. The author says he wrote the book to demonstrate to children how the genius of Black American minds is utilized on a daily basis. Did you know the inventor of the lawn mower was a Black man? I didn’t but I wasn’t surprised either. Blacks have invented many things that we are not aware of. The creation of this book is not only timely, it is ideal for the next generation to believe in themselves and see representation in the stories they read.
That is the purpose of Lauren Simone Pubs. We not only publish fun and educational stories told by diverse authors and illustrated by diverse artists. We also showcase the works of other talented authors whose goal is to increase the diversity of characters told in fiction and nonfiction stories.
This book “The Man who invented the lawn mower and other inspirational Black-American inventors and their inventions.” is beautifully illustrated by Indonesian artist, Sri Sayekti. It showcases many inventions that are credited to Blacks. The book highlights over 10 commonly-used inventions invented by Black Americans. I was very surprised that as an adult I only knew two of the inventors showcased (Lonnie and George Crum).
And my first job was at an engineering school so I believe I should be more knowledgeable to inventions. This book made me want to learn so much more about other common household items that were invented by Blacks.
The author Christopher Davis is not just an author, he is also an entrepreneur and landscaper. He owns his own lawn care business. When he is not his community a greener place, he spends his time educating, inspiring and empowering the community. Thank you Mr. Davis for your contribution to the African American community.
To get a copy of this book for yourself, please visit Amazon.
Written by: Chris Barton
Illustrated by: Don Tate
Published by: Charlesbridge/Penguin Random House
Released: May 3, 2016
Genre: Picture book
Length: 32 pages
Age level: 7-10
Grade level: 2-5
Meet Lonnie Johnson, a kid inventor from Mobile, Alabama. Growing up with 5 siblings was no easy feat as he shared space in a small house. His love and dedication for solving problems payed off when he was able to go to college and get a job at NASA. He designed things such as space probes for his job and homemade robots at home as his hobby and eventually came up with a water gun called the Super Soaker. However, life is filled with trials and good things rarely come easily. The story tells of disappointments and rejections. But Lonnie never gave up and with the support and encouragement of his family, he persisted.