Galileo the Hero

My children’s book was entitled “Galileo” by Leonard Everett Fisher. We all know as children we very much judge books by their covers or at least I did as a kid and the cover of this book is very breath taking. It is a simple black and white picture of Galileo Peering through a telescope into the star lit Italian sky. Each page is a centerfold, panoramic, black and white picture of Galileo’s story starting with his childhood. Every other page also contains a small paragraph related to the picture it is displayed over, describing the timeline of Galileo’s life. In fact, before the story actually begins there is a timeline and map of Italy located at the beginning of the book. Also I believe by having more picture than print it is more appealing to younger readers.

The book displays a good back ground to the field of science at the time. It touches on the work of Aristotle, Copernicus, and Galileo. With each scientists it also describes their struggles with the Catholic church for each of them. The books says “Galileo Galilei, a brilliant, lively, quick-tempered Italian mathematician, physicist, and astronomer- and a devout Catholic-set out to prove Copernicus right.” They almost described him as a superhero on a passionate journey of vengeance for Copernicus. And by calling him a “devout catholic” it makes the catholic church almost seem like the enemy. And these 2 sides will depicted as such for the rest of the book.

This idea of a hero and a Villain is a simple concept for a child to grasp. I wish the book was in color but that would take away from the text and the actual story I believe. The book constantly related back to Aristotle and Copernicus and how Galileo builds on their ideas. The book makes you think there is no possible way Galileo could be wrong if you read it with an open mind.