Thursday, October 25, 2012
Rosa and Galileo
Written by Anne Cottringer
Illustrated by Lizzie Finlay
Published by Random House
Rosa has spent an evening waiting for her mother to go upstairs and visit her friend. Time doesn’t pass fast enough because she’s looking forward to something special. Her friend Livia’s father Galileo has created a spyglass that lets one look at the moon. She sneaks through the streets of Padua to Livia's house and spends a fruitful evening there.
Galileo shows the girls the telescope and Rosa is shocked to see that the moon is not smooth as she'd imagined, but full of of craters. Jupiter's moons, and a lesson in the earth revolving around the Sun follow. Author Cottringer subtly sneaks in a lesson in what falls faster - a heavier object or a light one.
A lovely story introducing children to the creator of the telescope, giving them a feel of Italy in the 17th Century, all without coming across as a lesson. Author Anne Cottringer was a documentary director and camerawoman before she began writing for children. Lizzie Finlay's line drawings complement the story perfectly - from the mischievous look on the girls' faces to Galileo's delight at having an adoring audience. Within the first read my children were excitedly picking up their books on the solar system, keen to explore more and lead off from where they'd begun.