Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Galileo’s Universe

Galileo’s Universe

J. Patrick Lewis
Illustrator:  Tom Curry 
Paper Engineer: Bruce Foster
Nonfiction Novelty Book
For ages 9 to 12
The Creative Company, 2005   ISBN: 978-1568461830

From the time when he was still a young boy Galileo Galilei was interested in the world around him. When he grew older he decided to turn his interests into his career becoming a mathematician and a scientist. It was just a small step for him to become an inventor, creating tools that would help him in his research. His first notable invention was a hydrostatic scale with which to measure “weights and metals.” His thermoscope was the first device that could measure temperature with any degree of accuracy. Then he improved on the spyglass to create the world’s first telescope and through its lenses he discovered all kinds of wondrous things in the heavens above. Most notable of all his discoveries Galileo came to the conclusion that the earth was not after all at the center of the universe. He was able to confirm Copernicus’s theory that the earth revolves around the sun.

Unfortunately there were some who were appalled to hear Galileo’s theories. The church in Rome was furious and demanded that Galileo come to Rome to “answer for your lies.” His punishment was to be sentenced to house arrest for the rest of his life.

Today many of us take Galileo’s discoveries and inventions for granted. It is hard to imagine that there was a time when his experiments and theories could be considered heresy and yet this is indeed what happened to this brilliant and courageous man.

Written in various forms of verse, this excellent account of Galileo’s life is both interesting and surprising. In addition to the main text there are also additional pieces of text which fold out and pull out of the pages. These sections provide additional information about Galileo’s work and world. With tabs to pull, pop-ups to admire, and fold out pages to examine, this book serves as an excellent tribute to one of the world’s most extraordinary men.