Sis, P. (1996). Starry Messenger: A Book Depicting the Life of a Famous Scientist, Mathematician, Astronomer, Philosopher, Physicist, Galileo. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. ISBN: 978-0374371913
Annotation: In this 1997 Caldecott Honor Book, Peter Sis depicts the life and work of Galileo Galilei, as he courageously stands to change traditional ancient views about Earth’s placement in the galaxy.
Reaction: Peter Sis’s Caldecott Honor book, Starry Messenger can be used to teach students that the sun was not always thought to be the center of the universe or that the path of the planets was around the sun. Students will also be introduced to the famous scientist Galileo and his work in challenging the accepted truth of the orbiting of the solar system with his evidence. Teachers can use this book to demonstrate the way theories can be proven or disproven by testing and observation and how the advancement of technology, such as the telescope, helps the world test old theories. Sis captures the essence of Galileo’s sketching, turning the book into a useful tool to illustrate how visual and written notes can bring truth to new theories and observations. It demonstrates to students that questions that are testable in science can be proven true by factual information and observation. The story is brief but the pages incorporate side text that is significant and relevant for older readers who want to know more about Galileo. The illustrations are also for older readers as he uses a neutral color palette and the detailed watercolor and pen marks require deeper observation. The illustrations also have symbolic images that will be appreciated by older readers.
This was a part of Assignment 2: 5th Grade Science.
Media Used: Watercolors, pen and ink, and rubber stamps