#AtoZchallenge: “S” is for Starry Messenger (1996) by Peter Sis

starry_messengerHe dared to speak up and challenge the traditional way of thinking about the world.

He spent his time gazing at the stars.

By so doing, he realized that the earth was not the center of the universe. Rather, the earth and other planets revolved around the sun–a suggestion in opposition to the accepted truth of the day.

Like so many other visionaries in history, Galileo’s revelation (with evidence) was not entirely embraced by the leading authority of the day.

In this beautifully illustrated and luminous picturebook, Peter Sis tells the story of Galileo Galilei and his discovery that changed the world as well as the way we see ourselves and our place in the universe. The book affirms the courage and vision of Galileo and provides an important portrait of a man for young readers through Sis’s detailed written and visual text.

Here’s the GoodReads summary:

“In every age there are courageous people who break with tradition to explore new ideas and challenge accepted truths. Galileo Galilei was just such a man–a genius–and the first to turn the telescope to the skies to map the heavens. In doing so, he offered objective evidence that the earth was not the fixed center of the universe but that it and all the other planets revolved around the sun. Galileo kept careful notes and made beautiful drawings of all that he observed. Through his telescope he brought the starts down to earth for everyone to see.

By changing the way people saw the galaxy, Galileo was also changing the way they saw themselves and their place in the universe. This was very exciting, but to some to some it was deeply disturbing. Galileo has upset the harmonious view of heaven and earth that had been accepted since ancient times. He had turned the world upside down.

In this amazing new book, Peter Sís employs the artist’s lens to give us an extraordinary view of the life of Galileo Galilei. Sís tells his story in language as simple as a fairy tale, in pictures as rich and tightly woven as a tapestry, and in Galileo’s own words, written more than 350 years ago and still resonant with truth.  Starry Messenger is a 1997 Caldecott Honor Book.”


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