In the book world, the month of November is dedicated to reading and sharing non-fiction books. This month I’ll be sharing some non-fiction books that I think would be great for readers, young and old. These books will cover various topics and interests. If you’d like to see previous #NonFicNov posts, click HERE to see more amazing non-fiction books.
BEULAH HAS A HUNCH!
Inside the Colorful Mind of Master Inventor Beulah Louise Henry
By: Katie Mazeika
Published: October 17, 2023
Publisher: Beach Lane Books
Whenever Buelah had a hunch, she could see the idea perfectly in her mind. She wanted to get it sketched out as soon as possible, but drawing on a slate wasn’t as precise as she wanted it to be. Plus, her mom thought it was very unladylike for Beulah to lie on the floor while drawing.
Beulah’s brain worked differently than others. Beulah had hyperphantasia, an ability to picture things in her mind in extreme detail. Beulah also had synesthesia which caused her to see colors when she heard a number or music. She wanted to draw the images in her mind so that others could see her ideas and how they worked. Beulah wanted to know HOW their gas stove worked not how to BAKE with it. But, in the late 1800s, girls were taught how to sew and dance and have good etiquette, not science or math.
While watching the society ladies walk by their home with their parasols, Beulah had a hunch and this one would eventually lead to big things for Beulah. Even though she was told “No” numerous times because she was a woman, she persisted and finally found a manufacturer to make her collapsible and interchangeable Snappon Umbrellas. These parasols were sold at the fancy department store Lord & Taylor and earned Beulah enough money to start her own business.
The end of the book includes more details on Beulah Louise Henry’s life and some of the patents she created including a doll voice box, and her last patent in 1962, a basting oven. I’m guessing most of you, like myself, have never heard of Beulah Louise Henry, but she is certainly someone young girls, especially those interested in STEM, should be learning about. Thanks to Katie Mazeika for sharing Beulah’s story and creating detailed illustrations to help us envision her life.
Click HERE to download a curriculum guide.
Katie Mazeika is an author and illustrator with a BFA from the Columbus College of Art and Design. When she isn’t in the studio, she likes to spend time at the theater, in her garden, or getting lost in a good book. She is the author-illustrator of picture book biographies including Annette Feels Free and Beulah Has a Hunch!. She lives in Ohio with her family and two dogs. To learn more, and download a free curriculum guide, visit her website at katiemazeika.com.