Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Parents' Choice Awards : Books : Picture Books
I, Galileo

I, Galileo

Spring 2013 Picture Books
Ages: 8 & Up
Author: Bonnie Christensen
ISBN: 978-0-375-86753-8
Hardcover Price: $17.99

In 1564, Europeans still believed that the Sun and its planets revolved around Earth. When renowned scientist Galileo found evidence that Copernicus was right, and that Earth and the other planets did revolve around the sun, he was denounced as a heretic and sentenced to house arrest. In I, Galileo, Bonnie Christensen illustrates Galileo's story with sharp, jewel-tone images that match the reflective tone of this unique, first-person picture book biography.

As a child, Galileo learned to think scientifically from his father, who taught him, "A person must be allowed to ask questions...and seek answers in search of truth." Though drawn to life at a monastery, Galileo instead studied medicine and later music at his father's direction. When he was hired to teach classes at the University of Pisa, it quickly became apparent that Galileo was not content to follow the rules, not as a scholar or a teacher.

A respected scholar and a researcher stubborn in the face of opposition, Galileo's cannonball experiment disproved Aristotle's claim that heavy objects fall faster than light ones. Pisa did not invite him back to teach after that experiment, and from there he moved to Padua, a university that promised him time for conducting research. In nearby Venice, he invented a compass that became invaluable to ships and the military as a calculating device. In little time, he created a telescope, too. Though his first was only powerful enough to magnify distant ships, his next could reveal the moon's valleys and peaks.

Through the telescope, Galileo observed that, as Copernicus predicted, the planets revolved around the sun. The Catholic Church ruled this to be heresy, though, and did not change their mind until 1992.

Plague and the Inquisition did not stop Galileo from seeking answers about the Universe, and for that he was punished. But "the truth has a way of escaping into the light," and today we take Galileo's once controversial discoveries as common knowledge.

I, Galileo is a beautiful testament to the bravery of scientific discovery. Children who wish to learn more about Galileo will benefit from Christensen's chronology, references, and key word glossary at the book's end.

Parents' Choice   ©2013 Parents' Choice

Look for this product at:
Random House Children's Books

Share This