K-Gr 3-Before he was an inventor, before he was a statesman, before he was a printer, Franklin was a young son of a soapmaker with big ideas and a penchant for swimming in the Charles River of Boston. This made him a bit of an odd duck at the time, as many people of the 18th century believed swimming could make them sick. With this "mostly true story," Rosenstock shares how even as a boy, Franklin possessed a powerful curiosity and a can-do attitude that led him to create swim paddles for his feet and hands that would help him move faster and better, much like the fish he observed in the river. The alliterative, sibilant text is a rollicking read to share aloud with young students ("where he slid off his stinky shoes, stripped off his sweaty stockings, squirmed out of his sticky shirt, shed his steamy breeches, and splashed in"). There is plenty of emphasis on words and phrases that are highlighted by colorful and distinct typefaces, some sliding down the page or shaped like a watery wave. The watercolor and ink artwork conveys joy and motion, with young Ben splashing into the water, gleefully trying out his fins. An extensive bibliography, source notes for quotations, and a time line of Franklin's life add to the veracity and strength of this story. This is a fun introduction to one of the nation's founding fathers and a solid addition to collections needing a different perspective on this American icon.-Jody Kopple, Shady Hill School, Cambridge, MA (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.