Branley, Franklyn (1915 - 2002)

Genre: Children's Literature, Non-Fiction

Franklyn Branley, who wrote or co-wrote over 140 science books for children, was born on June 5, 1915 in New Rochelle, N.Y. He attended New Paltz Normal School in New Paltz, N.Y. (now SUNY at New Paltz) and also received degrees in education from New York University and Teachers College at Columbia University. He lived in Sag Harbor, NY, for many years, moving to Thornton Oaks retirement community in Brunswick, Maine in 1998. He died in Brunswick on 5 May 2002. Branley was an astronomer by training, working at in NYC from 1957 to 1972 (chairman from 1968-1972). He also taught science, from kindergarten through college, in New York schools.

While he was teaching at New Jersey's State Teachers College in 1960 he began introducing area kindergartners to the basics of science. His goal was to both provide information and capture the imaginations of his young learners. These books led to his immensely popular (and still reprinted) 'Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science' series for very young readers (ages 4-9). Branley's books include, the Mysteries series, the Experiments series, the Book For You series, and the Planets series

Selected Bibliography

  • Mickey's Magnet (1956)
  • Rusty Rings A Bell (1957)
  • Timmy and the Tin Can Telephone (1959)
  • Science: Seven and Eight (1945, illus. Scarlett Blanton)
  • Experiments in Science (1947, with Nelson F. Beeler, illus. Ruth Beck)
  • Experiments with Electricity (1949, with Nelson F. Beeler, illus. A.W. Revell)
  • Experiments with Atomics (1954, with Nelson F. Beeler, illus. A.W. Revell)
  • Nine Planets (1958, illus. Helmut K. Wimmer)
  • A Book of Moon Rockets For You (1959, illus. Leonard Kessler)
  • Big Tracks, Little Tracks (1960, illus. Leonard Kessler)
  • Guide to Outer Space (1960, illus. George Geygan)
  • What Makes Day and Night (1961 - illus. Helen Borten; 1986/91 - illus. Arthur Dorros)
  • Sun, Our Nearest Star (1961 - illus. Helen Borten; 1988/97 - illus. Don Madden)
  • Big Dipper (1962 - illus. Ed Emberley; 1991/99 - illus. Molly Coxe)
  • Rain and Hail (1963 - illus. Helen Borten; 1983 - illus. Harriett Barton), published as Down Comes the Rain in 1997, illus. James Graham Hale
  • Flash, Crash, Rumble and Roll (1964)
  • Book of Stars For You (1967, illus. Leonard Kessler)
  • Mystery of Stonehenge (1969, illus. Victor G. Ambrus)
  • Moon: Jack and Jill and Other Legends (1971, illus. Jane Teiko Oka)
  • Eclipse: Darkness in Daytime (1973/88, illus. Donald Crews)
  • Comets, Meteoroids, and Asteroids: Mavericks of the Solar System (1974, illus. Helmut K. Wimmer)
  • A Book of Planet Earth For You (1975, illus. Leonard Kessler)
  • Black Holes, White Dwarfs, and Superstars (1976, illus. Helmut K. Wimmer)
  • Color: From Rainbows to Lasers (1978, illus. Henry Roth)
  • Age of Aquarius: You and Astrology (1979, illus. Leonard Kessler)
  • Jupiter: King of the Gods, Giant of the Planets (1981, illus. Leonard D. Dank)
  • Halley, Comet 1986 (1983, illus. Sally J. Bensusen)
  • From Sputnik to Space Shuttles: Into the New Space Age (1986/89)
  • Astronomy Set 1 (1990), 5-volume set
  • Germs Make Me Sick (1991, with Melvin Berger, illus. Marylin Hafner)
  • International Space Station (2000, illus. True Kelley)

Selected Resources