Two intrepid librarians

Two intrepid librarians review the best nonfiction books for children

Monday, February 13, 2023

Josephine and her Dishwashing Machine Written by Kate Hannigan

 Josephine and her Dishwashing Machine : Josephine Cochrane's Bright Invention Makes a Big Splash
                                                                                                         Written by Kate Hannigan; Illustrated by Sarah Green                                                                                  Calkins Creek. An Imprint of Astra Books for Young Readers. 2023

Josephine Garis Cochrane was born on March 8, 1839. She lived in an era when women, "could not own property, sign legal documents, hold on to her earnings, or even get an education unless she had her husband's permission." If you invented something, you needed to use your husband's name on the patent application. 

When she saw her beautiful dishes chipped and cracked, Josephine decided there must be a better way to wash the dishes. She got to work pondering, sketching, thinking, studying a 1850 version of a dishwasher, until she came up with an idea.  With the help of a mechanic, the two brought Josephine's idea to life. Josephine applied for her first patent on December 31, 1885.

Green's lively, colorful illustrations, done digitally, reflect what is mentioned in the text.

Included is an author's note, a two-page spread listing other notable women inventors, a timeline of fascinating inventions, and source notes. 

This fascinating picture book biography is very inspirational. The message of believing in yourself, not giving up makes it a great book to share with students of all ages. 

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