Cover image for Mr. Ferris and his wheel
Mr. Ferris and his wheel
Davis, Kathryn Gibbs, author.
Publication Information:
New York, New York : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, [2014]
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : illustrations (chiefly color) ; 27 cm
Examines how the engineer George Ferris invented and constructed the amusement park ride that bears his name for the 1893 Chicago World's Fair.
Reading Level:
900 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 5.1 0.5 168154.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Kenilworth Library TA140.F455 D38 2014 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Audubon Library TA140.F455 D38 2014 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Clarence Library TA140.F455 D38 2014 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Clearfield Library TA140.F455 D38 2014 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Hamburg Library TA140.F455 D38 2014 Juvenile Non-Fiction Biography
Kenmore Library TA140.F455 D38 2014 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Orchard Park Library TA140.F455 D38 2014 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Julia Boyer Reinstein Library TA140.F455 D38 2014 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Central Library TA140.F455 D38 2014 Juvenile Non-Fiction Childrens Area-Biography

On Order



Capturing an engineer's creative vision and mind for detail, this fully illustrated picture book biography sheds light on how the American inventor George Ferris defied gravity and seemingly impossible odds to invent the world's most iconic amusement park attraction, the Ferris wheel.
nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp; A fun, fact-filled text by Kathryn Gibbs Davis combines with Gilbert Ford's dazzling full-color illustrations to transport readers to the 1893 World's Fair, where George Ferris and his big, wonderful wheel lifted passengers to the skies for the first time.

Author Notes

Kathryn Gibbs Davis has a gift for combining history and storytelling in a manner that relates to readers of many ages. Kathryn is an active member of the Children's Literature Network. Visit Gilbert Ford was born into a family of photographers. Instead of taking up the camera, he moved to New York to attend the prestigious Pratt Institute. His illustrations have appeared in books, magazines, newspapers, toys, billboards, and advertisements. He currently resides in Brooklyn, New York. Visit

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

*Starred Review* Ten months before the 1893 Chicago World's Fair, there was still no centerpiece to rival that of the previous fair's Eiffel Tower. Enter young engineer George Washington Gale Ferris Jr., who had a vision of a structure not only tall but also rigged for motion. Having no better choices, fair organizers begrudgingly accepted his proposal but offered not a cent of funding. With but four months to go, George scrambled for funding and materials, most of it a newfangled metal called steel, including a 70-ton axle, the largest piece of steel ever forged. The harried workers struggled with frozen Chicago ground, unexpected quicksand, more than 100,000 parts, and, most of all, the derision of onlookers who found the spindly-looking contraption undignified and sure to collapse in high winds. But it didn't rather, it ascended heavenward into both day and night skies, offering unparalleled views from its posh living-room-sized passenger cars. Like Mr. Ferris' invention, Davis' picture-book bio soars, inspires, and keeps (the pages) ever turning, matching the gregarious text to smaller, often tech-based side comments. Ford's impressionistic, wine-colored washes blend a fantastical mood with a staggering sense of mechanical scale. It's tough to awe readers with a ride with which they are so familiar, but Davis and Ford pull it off. Grab your tickets; here we go.--Kraus, Daniel Copyright 2010 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

With the 1893 Chicago World's Fair on the horizon, American engineer George Washington Gale Ferris Jr. won a design contest for what would become the Ferris wheel, a "structure that would dazzle and move, not just stand still like the Eiffel Tower" (the star of the previous World Fair). Despite naysayers ("It's undignified," grouses one onlooker), George and his crew plowed forward with plans for the giant, circular steel structure, unveiling the machine at the fair's opening. Davis delivers a tense and satisfying underdog story, while Ford creates a stylized 19th-century landscape, setting impressionistic backgrounds against the hard-edged geometric shapes of the wheel and other structures, colored in deep, subdued blues and violets. Direct quotations and captions explaining historical detail keep the context of the story in sharp focus. Ages 4-8. Author's agent: Jodi Reamer, Writers House. Illustrator's agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 3-It's almost time for the 1893 Chicago World's Fair, and American architects are hoping to design a star attraction to rival the French Eiffel Tower. Mechanical engineer George Washington Gale Ferris Jr. has a daring idea: a huge, round, moving structure made from steel, a new metal unrivaled in both lightness and strength. After overcoming obstacles ranging from mockery to quicksand, Ferris and his team finally complete their wheel, which delights fairgoers and goes on to become a staple of fairgrounds around the world. Librarians familiar with Erik Larson's The Devil in the White City (Random, 2002) already know this story, but the focus here is less on the Chicago World's Fair and more on the process involved in building a mechanical marvel. Details such as why support structures were necessary and how tension wheels work will engage emerging engineers, while those with a less scientific bent can nevertheless appreciate the excitement felt by the Ferris Wheel's very first passengers. The primary story is told in an easy-to-read serif font, and secondary details are added in smaller sans-serif sections. A purple-dominated color scheme contrasts with occasional greens and yellows. Overall, the modernist look, inherently interesting topic, and strong documentation (including quotations from primary sources) make this title a positive addition, especially those looking to enhance their nonfiction offerings in view of new Common Core standards.-Jill Ratzan, I. L. Peretz Community Jewish School, Somerset, NJ (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Google Preview