- The Polio Pioneer: Dr. Jonas Salk and the Polio Vaccine by Linda Elovitz Marshall
Marshall, Linda Elovitz The Polio Pioneer: Dr. Jonas Salk and the Polio Vaccine; illus. by Lisa Anchin. Knopf, 2020 [40p] Library ed. ISBN 9780525646525 $20.99 Trade ed. ISBN 9780525646518 $17.99 E-book ed. ISBN 9780525646532 $10.99 Reviewed from galleys Ad 6-9 yrs
The polio epidemic and the invention of a life-changing vaccine have special resonance right now, so this picture book biography of Jonas Salk is timely indeed. Marshall follows him from his youth as a scholarly child in a poor but determined Jewish immigrant family to his study of medicine, including his early research developing a vaccine for influenza. The main focus, though, is on his work with the polio vaccine and its progress through testing to eventual success, after which Salk developed a research institute studying various diseases. The discussion of Salk's character doesn't really marry with the scientific narrative, but it's still a usefully streamlined if sometimes bland chronicle of the science behind the creation of a vaccine. The art is gently cheerful, even in the bustling lab scenes, adding a personal touch to the science. The message that a solution was found to a disease outbreak before is a reassuring one, and kids may wish to learn more about Dr. Salk. Unfortunately, no notes or further reading are provided.