Joe and Bob Switzer were very different brothers. Bob was a studious planner who wanted to grow up to be a doctor. Joe dreamed of making his fortune in show business and loved magic tricks and problem-solving. When an accident left Bob recovering in a darkened basement, the brothers began experimenting with ultraviolet light and fluorescent paints. Together they invented a whole new kind of color, one that glows with an extra-special intensity—Day-Glo. This cover reproduction is not printed with Day-Glo colors. The actual book, however, is printed using three Day-Glo colors: Saturn Yellow, Fire Orange, and Signal Green.
"The Switzer brothers were complete opposites. Older brother Bob was hardworking and practical, while younger brother Joe was carefree and full of creative, wacky ideas. However, when an unexpected injury forced Bob to spend months recovering in a darkened basement, the two brothers happened upon an illuminating adventure—the discovery of Day-Glo colors. These glowing paints were used to send signals in World War II, help airplanes land safely at night and are now found worldwide in art and advertisements (not to mention the entire decade of 1980s fashion). Through extensive research, including Switzer family interviews and Bob's own handwritten account of events, debut author Barton brings two unknown inventors into the brilliant light they deserve. Persiani, in his picture-book debut as well, first limits the palette to grayscale, then gradually increases the use of color as the brothers' experiments progress. The final pages explode in Day-Glo radiance. Rendered in 1950s-cartoon style, with bold lines and stretched perspectives, these two putty-limbed brothers shine even more brightly than the paints and dyes they created." - Kirkus Reviews, June 2009 "You may not know their names, but you're familiar with their work. In 1938, Bob and Joe Switzer invented fluorescent paint-without which we might not have highlighters, traffic cones, or the cover of this magazine. Their enlightening story, as told by children's author Chris Barton (with illustrator Tony Persiani), shows how basement tinkering can lead to scientific discovery." - Wired Magazine, June 2009