Review: Earmuffs for Everyone by Meghan McCarthy

earmuffs for everyone

Earmuffs for Everyone!: How Chester Greenwood Became Known as the Inventor of Earmuffs by Meghan McCarthy

Chester Greenwood is credited with being the inventor of the earmuffs.  The story goes that he was a boy with big ears that were sensitive to cold so he had his grandmother create him a pair of earmuffs from wire and cloth.  However, the author also shows that earmuffs were actually invented before Greenwood was even born.  He did however get a patent himself at age 19 for ear-mufflers.  Chester had a great business sense too, one that he honed even as a boy.  He also invented other things besides ear-mufflers, designing new features into kettles and rakes and even creating a portable house.  It was an article in Life Magazine in the 1930s that credited Greenwood with the invention and that continued into the 1970s when there was a day named after him in Maine that continues to be celebrated today.

McCarthy immediately invites readers into the earmuff mystery, showing the early patents by others and then turning to Greenwood.  Readers will see how convoluted stories can become in history, how distorted credit for inventions can be, and also how hard it can be to piece together the truth fully once again.  It is to McCarthy’s credit that her focus is on more than the inventor but also on the others in history and the patent process.  Don’t miss her notes at the end which detail even more fully her search for the truth about earmuffs.

McCarthy populates her books with friendly characters with big googly eyes.  Her paintings are fresh and colorful.  They range from double-page spreads to smaller images on the page.  All of them exude a cheery feeling and invite readers to explore.

This nonfiction picture book embraces the complexity of the past and demonstrates the search for the truth behind an everyday object.  Appropriate for ages 6-9.

Reviewed from copy received from Simon & Schuster.

This Week’s Tweets, Pins & Tumbls

Here are the links I shared on my Twitter, Pinterest, and Tumblr accounts this week that I think are cool:


Books to breed tolerance: what children can read after the terrorist attacks in Paris | The Guardian #kidlit

Check Out Four New Images from the First Fully-Illustrated Harry Potter! #kidlit

Drawn & Quarterly’s publishing success story | Montreal Gazette – It’s all about the Moomins! #kidlit

Let’s Get Busy Podcast features Steve Antony (Ep. 115) #kidlit

Mac Barnett Interview (The Terrible Two)

NYPL | Children’s Books 2014 – 100 Titles for Reading & Sharing – #kidlit

NYPL Panel Asks: Where’s the Science Fiction for Younger Readers? #kidlit

Q & A with Meghan McCarthy #kidlit

SLJ’s Seventh Annual Battle of the Kids’ Books 2015 Contenders Announced #sljbob @SLJsBoB

re-pinned by:


Five Design Teams Re-Envision New York’s Public Libraries | ArchDaily #libraries

Lose Yourself In These Photos Of Europe’s Most Magnificent Libraries #libraries

Meet the Tabletarians | Mobile Services #libraries

Rich Harwood on Libraries as Change Agents, Turning Outward, and the Need for Qualitative Data #libraries

School libraries shelve tradition to create new learning spaces | The Guardian #libraries

This Ferguson Library Twitter Hashtag Just Might Make You Feel Better About the World – CityLab #libraries

Using #becauseofapubliclibrary, Ferguson (Mo.) library director sparked love from Twitterverse

“No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance.” Confucius


Children’s reading shows simultaneous rise and decline. How can that add up? | The Guardian #reading

How to get kids to read — let them pick their own damn books – Vox #reading #kidlit

If we stop telling kids what to read, they might start reading again – The Washington Post #reading

Study Finds Reading to Children of All Ages Grooms Them to Read More on Their Own #reading


Five questions for A. S. King – The Horn Book #yalit

Gayle Forman on why we need to talk about depression | Children’s books | The Guardian #yalit

The Great 2015 YA Series Round-Up – BOOK RIOT #yalit

Madeleine Kuderick’s top 10 books that explore mental health issues | The Guardian #yalit

‘TIME’s "100 Best Young Adult Books Of All Time" Is Very White… And Not Very YA | Bustle #yalit