Galileo's Journal, 1609-1610

Overview

On his summer vacation, Galileo Galilei hears about the newly invented telescope and decides to build one of his own. Turning his new "spyglass" to the night sky, he sees things that no one has ever seen before. He discovers that the Milky Way is made of stars, and that the moon has mountains. He also notices a strange formation of "stars" that will eventually turn people's understanding of the world upside down. Fictional journal accounts capture the famous Italian scientist's curiosity and wonder as he makes ...

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Overview

On his summer vacation, Galileo Galilei hears about the newly invented telescope and decides to build one of his own. Turning his new "spyglass" to the night sky, he sees things that no one has ever seen before. He discovers that the Milky Way is made of stars, and that the moon has mountains. He also notices a strange formation of "stars" that will eventually turn people's understanding of the world upside down. Fictional journal accounts capture the famous Italian scientist's curiosity and wonder as he makes some of the most amazing discoveries in history.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Galileo is known today for his studies of the stars and the solar system, but his use of scientific methods to conduct his studies and experiments was as revolutionary as his discoveries. Jeanne Pettenati has created a journal that Galileo might have written during one brief year when he used trial and error to create a telescope—or spyglass as he called it—and then asked questions about what he saw when he looked at Jupiter with his spyglass. He was always ready to try new experiments and observations to find the answers to his questions. What are the bright stars next to Jupiter? What if the stars and Jupiter are all moving? His conclusions made his real book The Starry Messenger a bestseller of his day, but it also infuriated the religious authorities, who prevented him from traveling or teaching anymore. The book makes an important but ancient man a little more human. The illustrations are adequate with the best rendering of Galileo on the cover, where the glint in his eye draws the reader in to share the quest. Pettenati's notes include a brief biography, as well as an explanation of precisely where she took liberties in creating Galileo's journal. 2006, Charlesbridge, Ages 6 to 12.
—Karen Leggett
School Library Journal
Gr 2-4-This picture book combines attractive illustrations and lively text to provide an introductory glimpse into the life of Galileo, imagining what he might have written in his journal. It focuses on the scientist's improvement of the telescope and his subsequent realization that planets other than the Earth also have moons and rotate around the sun rather than the Earth. While the story joins fabricated thoughts and dialogue with actual science and biography, Pettenati does a good job, both in the text and in an author's note about the scientist's life, of clearly pointing out the difference between her creation and historical data. A fictional dog, Luna, adds playfulness to the story and gives it a more personal feel, as do Rui's lighthearted illustrations. Pair this title with Peter S's's exceptional Starry Messenger (Farrar, 1996) to provide a fun introduction to Galileo and to inspire young readers to explore further.-Deanna Romriell, Salt Lake City Library, UT Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781570918803
  • Publisher: Charlesbridge Publishing, Inc.
  • Publication date: 7/28/2006
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Pages: 31
  • Age range: 6 - 9 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.41 (w) x 11.06 (h) x 0.16 (d)

Meet the Author

Jeanne K. Pettanati reviews children's books for the Children's Literature Comprehensive Database. Jeanne lives in Bethesda, Maryland.

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