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Review of Ernö Rubik and his Magic Cube

A True Tale with


Book cover of children's picture book biography Erno Rubik and the Magic Cube


(pub. 6.11.2024)

32 pages

Ages 4 - 8

Author: Kerry Aradhya

   Illustrator: Kara Kramer

Character: Ernő Rubik


"A solitary child, Ernő Rubik grew up in post-World War II Hungary obsessed with puzzles, art, nature, and the underlying patterns and structures. He became a professor of art, architecture, and design, who was still fascinated with how objects work together, sometimes becoming greater than their components.

In a quest to help his students understand three-dimensional objects and how they move—not to mention a desire to entertain himself—he fashioned a cube whose pieces twisted and turned without breaking, and unexpectedly invented the Rubik's Cube, the most popular puzzle in history, which will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2024."

Tantalizing taste:

"Ernő was curious about the objects around him.

What did they look like on the inside?

Drawing them helped him understand the world.

He was also curious about geometric shapes.

How many ways could he fit them together?

Tangrams, pentominoes, and pentacubes

helped him imagine all the possibilities.

Ernő thought the three-dimensional

objects he created out of his little cubes

were beautiful."

And something more: The author, Kerry Aradhya, kindly shared with me a wonderful inside scoop about the book: "Ernő Rubik's parents were a great inspiration to him, especially his father, who was an aviation engineer. If you look closely, you will see a yellow toy plane hanging from the ceiling of Ernő's room in a few spreads from the book. I love that Kara Kramer incorporated that little detail into the art!" Me too! It's just the type of secret that I find students love to hear when I do school visits.

As a parent of two sons who LOVED to race each other to solve the Rubik's Cube, I was fascinated to learn about the creation of the cube. The section at the back of the book, The Magic Cube, explains: "If you think Ernő  Rubik knew how to solve the puzzle he'd invented, you'd be wrong. That's because he never intended to invent a puzzle at all! It was only after twisting and turning the three-dimensional object, and losing track of its original position, that he became curious about how to restore order to the chaos he'd created ... It took him about a month to find a solution, and he did it using a combination of intuition and logic."

Ernö Rubik and his Magic Cube is a delightful celebration of creativity, intuition and logic!


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