Welcome to Perfect Picture Book Fridays, where we review picture books which we deem worthy of mention. This concept was created by Susanna Hill, and is a helpful resource for librarians, teachers and parents. For a list of all books reviewed so far, along with activities to complement them, click here.
Author: Wendy Macdonald
Illustrator: Paolo Rui
Themes: Galileo, scientists, gravity, experiments
Jacket Flap: The Farm Boy and the Scientist: Every week Massimo the farm boy delivers lunch to his uncle-by dropping it off a bridge onto his uncle's boat. One day, a stranger notices something odd about the way the food falls. The heavier cheese and the lighter bread land at the exact moment. How can this be?
The stranger is the young professor Galileo. Together he and Massimo start to explore the way objects fall. What happens if you drop a feather and a hammer? A rock and a sheet of paper? To test their ideas, they conduct one of the most famous experiments of all time.
First paragraph: Massimo threw a stone off the bridge and watched it fall-plop-into the river. "Hey, Massimo! Why don't you come with me?" called a boy herding a flock of goats across the bridge. Massimo waved. "Thanks, but I have to wait for my uncle's boat."
Why I like this book: We need more picture books that convey a fairly complex concept in simple terms. "Galileo" does that, and retells an important part of history at the same time. The photos are appealing, and the text engaging, as they draw us into the story of another era.
Activities for Kids:
Galileo's Leaning Tower Experiment can be found here.
Fun Activities for the country of Italy here
Leaning Tower activities, here.
Architectural activities here.
Activities for Galileo himself, here.