The Boo-Boos That Changed the World: A True Story About an Accidental Invention (Really!)
The Boo-Boos That Changed the World: A True Story About an Accidental Invention (Really!)

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Annotation: Reveals how Band-Aids were invented by a Johnson & Johnson employee who was searching for a way to make easy-to-use bandages for his accident-prone wife.
Genre: Health
Catalog Number: #170746
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Copyright Date: 2018
Edition Date: 2018
Illustrator: Hsu, Chris,
Pages: 32
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 1-580-89745-2 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-3041-7
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-580-89745-7 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-3041-9
Dewey: 617.1
LCCN: 2016053955
Dimensions: 29 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
ALA Booklist
Today, people have the luxury of covering their cuts with adhesive bandages that sparkle, glow in the dark, and look like tattoos. But how did the first Band-Aid come to be? This peppily illustrated picture book looks at the history of this now ubiquitous item, the man who invented it, and his accident-prone muse. Earle Dickson couldn't help but notice that his wife, Josephine, constantly injured herself, and bulky bandages just made things more difficult. As the son of a doctor and an employee of a company that made medical supplies, Earle had just the right background and resources to produce a eureka moment. One day in 1920, he created his first adhesive bandage by placing squares of sterile gauze on tape and covering them with crinoline. Voilà! The Band-Aid was born. Wittenstein uses conversational text to describe how the product was initially a flop, and to show the various forms the Band-Aid took before becoming the individual strip people know today. Lightly fictionalized writing is balanced by the author's note and appended time lines.
Horn Book
This picture book biography presents Earle Dickson's invention of the Band-Aid, from inspiration to development to marketing. Wittenstein's jokey, repeated use of "The End" ("Success! Band-Aids flew off the shelves. The End. / Not really...") proves how challenging it can be to impose narrative on complicated histories. Details in the mixed-media and digital illustrations evoke the story's 1920s era, and their cartoony aesthetic complements the amusing, child-friendly text. Timeline, websites.
Kirkus Reviews
The Band-Aid is one of those remarkably useful things that just about everyone has used, but has any
Publishers Weekly
This lighthearted story about the origins of the Band-Aid suggests that necessity truly is the mother of invention. In 1920s New Jersey, Earle Dickson is concerned for his wife, Josephine: -Ouch! When she sliced and diced an onion, she sometimes sliced her finger, too.- An employee at Johnson & Johnson, Dickson set out to design a protective bandage for her injuries. Hsu, a background artist for the animated TV comedy Archer, makes his picture book debut with friendly cartoons rendered in warm earth tones. After Dickson makes a Band-Aid prototype, Johnson & Johnson distributes the product to klutzes worldwide. Wittenstein, who imagines the details of the exchanges between Josephine and Earle, gracefully suggests to readers that even items as enduring as the Band-Aid started out as one individual-s creative solution to a common problem. Ages 4-8. (Feb.)

School Library Journal
Gr 24 "Necessity is the mother of invention." Never is that so true than when it involves actual bodily injury! This book tells the fascinating story of the invention of the Band-Aid in the early twentieth century. Josephine Dickson was particularly accident-prone in the kitchen, inspiring her husband Earle to come up with a creative solution. The narrative moves smoothly through the Dickson's household solution to the local impact (give Band-Aids to the Boy Scouts) to the global impact (Band-Aids were given to soldiers in World War II and are now used worldwide). Instructive back matter includes additional factual information about Earle Dickson, Band-Aids, and other major medical breakthroughs. The book tells the story with a delightful sense of humor. A running "The End" gag will make kids chuckle throughout as they will think they've reached the end of the story only to find out that it is not over yet. The splendid illustrations include historical details that evoke a distinct sense of time and place. VERDICT A funny and illuminating nonfiction entry that will hold particular appeal for aspiring inventors and future medical professionals. Alyssa Annico, Youngstown State University, OH
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
The Band-Aid is one of those remarkably useful things that just about everyone has used, but has anyone wondered who invented them and how they become a staple in medicine cabinets all over?In an engaging, humorous narrative, Wittenstein reveals the true story behind the invention. In the 1920s, Earle Dickson worked as a cotton buyer for Johnson & Johnson. His wife, Josephine, was an accident-prone klutz who frequently injured herself in the kitchen, slicing, grating, and burning herself. The son of a doctor, Earle worked on finding easier ways to bandage Josephine's injuries than wrapping them in rags. He took adhesive tape, then applied sterile gauze and crinoline, and the first Band-Aid was born. Impressed with Earle's prototype, his boss agreed to produce and sell the bandage, but it took a while to catch on. Once Band-Aids were mass-produced, the company gave them away to Boy Scouts and soldiers serving in World War II, and then they caught on with the American public and the rest of world. Wittenstein notes that some of the dialogue and interactions between Earle and Josephine are imagined. Hsu's illustrations, done in mixed media and Photoshop, have a whimsical, retro look that nicely complements the lighthearted tone of the text. Earle and Josephine are white, but people of color appear in backgrounds.Appealingly designed and illustrated, an engaging, fun story about the inspiration and inventor of that essential staple of home first aid. (timeline, websites) (Informational picture book. 4-8)
Bibliography Index/Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Word Count: 990
Reading Level: 3.9
Interest Level: P-2
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 3.9 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 193557 / grade: Lower Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:3.7 / points:3.0 / quiz:Q72679
Lexile: 640L
Once upon a time, in 1917 actually, a cotton buyer named Earle Dickson married his beloved, Josephine, and they lived happily ever after. THE END.

Actually, that was just the beginning.
The newlyweds expected to live a quiet life in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Instead, Earle and Josephine ended up changing the world, one boo-boo at a time. 


You see, Josephine was accident prone. She often bumped and bruised herself while working around the house. But that was nothing compared to how often she injured herself in the kitchen.

OUCH! When she sliced and diced an onion, she sometimes sliced her finger, too.

BOO-HOO! When she grated cheese, she sometimes grated her knuckle.

ARGH! When she lifted a hot pot off the stove, she sometimes burned her hand. 

After Josephine winced in pain, she quickly grabbed a rag to stop the bleeding.
But with bulky towels between her fingers, it was even harder for Josephine to hold a knife. She became even more accident prone. Impossible, you say? It's true. Josephine's klutziness had become a bloody problem! 

Every night when Earle came home from work, he looked forward to talking with Josephine and eating the wonderful meal she had prepared. That was until he saw his beloved's hands. Yikes! Her cuts might get infected. He had to help his new bride.

Earle's father was a doctor, so Earle knew a little bit about boo-boos and bandages. And luckily he worked for a company that manufactured hospital supplies. Earle knew there had to be a solution. But what was it?

Excerpted from The Boo-Boos That Changed the World: A True Story about an Accidental Invention (Really!) by Barry Wittenstein
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Did you know Band-Aids were invented by accident?! And that they weren't mass-produced until the Boy Scouts gave their seal of approval?

1920s cotton buyer Earle Dickson worked for Johnson & Johnson and had a klutzy wife who often cut herself. The son of a doctor, Earle set out to create an easier way for her to bandage her injuries. Band-Aids were born, but Earle's bosses at the pharmaceutical giant weren't convinced, and it wasn't until the Boy Scouts of America tested Earle's prototype that this ubiquitous household staple was made available to the public. Soon Band-Aids were selling like hotcakes, and the rest is boo-boo history.

"Appealingly designed and illustrated, an engaging, fun story" — Kirkus Reviews STARRED REVIEW


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