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I, Galileo
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I, Galileo

3.93  ·  Rating Details ·  187 Ratings  ·  53 Reviews
Acclaimed author-illustrator Bonnie Christensen adopts the voice of Galileo and lets him tell his own tale in this outstanding picture book biography. The first person narration gives this book a friendly, personal feel that makes Galileo's remarkable achievements and ideas completely accessible to young readers. And Christensen's artwork glows with the light of the stars ...more
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published June 12th 2012 by Knopf Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2012)
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Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
I loved this biography of astronomer Galileo for both its beautiful illustrations and its text. I like Christensen's artwork, especially the gorgeous 2-page title page, with its deep blues contrasted with Galileo's rich red robe and the pale yellow moon. When I first opened the book, I had to just gaze at those two pages for a while before moving on. Looking at it I could feel myself outside with him. Another picture that caught and held my attention was the 2-page spread of Galileo being tried ...more
Edward Sullivan
Handsomely desgined and illustrated, and a good introduction to Galileo but I'm not crazy about a first-person narration by Galileo for a biography.
Jul 19, 2012 Tasha rated it really liked it
Told in the first person, this look at Galileo’s life is made all the more personal through the unique point of view. Galileo tells the tale from the house and walled garden he is imprisoned in. Blind and aging, he recalls his childhood and the way that he helped his father with his musical experiments after leaving the university with no degree. He was offered a teaching position in the same university a bit later, but he refused to be traditional and instead wore what he liked and tested Arist ...more
Dec 02, 2012 Jennifer rated it really liked it
This picture book is a biography of Galileo Galilei. He talks about everything that he has accomplished: experiments, inventions, improvements, and discoveries. During his time, Galileo was not well liked for questioning the beliefs that the Catholic Church upheld. Eventually, he is imprisoned in his own house for life.

I really enjoyed this book. I was learning new information without thinking it was a history lesson. I knew that Galileo was a very important influence in science, but I wasn't re
Mar 23, 2016 Lisastrawberry rated it it was amazing
nicely illustrated kids book explaining the main events (and inventions and ideas) in Galileo's life. I didn't know that he was born in the same year as Shakespeare! :)
Roberta Gibson
Dec 02, 2012 Roberta Gibson rated it really liked it
The picture book biography I, Galileo by Bonnie Christensen has been getting quite a bit of buzz around children’s literature circles, including a review in The New York Times and a Cybils nomination.

This buzz is well-deserved praise. Starting with the title written in glittery stars (at least in the hardcover version), Bonnie Christensen has nailed the details. Her illustrations create a mood of the times, which was appropriately dark like paintings that have aged. She also unexpectedly uses th
This biography of Galileo explains to young readers not only who he is but what happened to one of the greatest scientists who would not give up learning and discovering science because of popular perceptions. The book has beautiful illustrations that go over prevalent beliefs when Galileo first started learning about science—the universe revolved around the Earth, gravity acted differently according to weight, etc. It also shows some of the ideas that Galileo helped pioneer—mathematics and musi ...more
May 25, 2013 Laura rated it liked it
Galileo, inventor of the telescope and observer of the heavens, tells his own story in this children's biography. He explain his childhood in Pisa and academic interests, as well as his struggles to be accepted by his father and community. He describes the telescope that he invented and his observations: the surface of the moon, the phases of Venus, and the moons of Jupiter. These observations led him to conclude, like his predecessor Copernicus, that the sun is the center of the universe. The C ...more
Lin Lin
Galileo's father said " A person must be allowed to ask questions, and seek answers in search of truth." He listened to his father and challenged Aristotle's claim that a heavy object would fall faster than a light object. Through his observation-based reasoning, he challenged the popular belief that the sun, moon, planets and all the stars circled a motionless Earth, the proposal propolsed by Aristotle, refined by Ptolemy, and upheld by the Catholic Church. Using his telescope, Galileo confirme ...more
Sherry Elmer
A three star rating may seem like a negative, but I did like this book. I just can't say I "really" liked it.

On the plus side, the author does a good job telling the story. The ending is wonderful, and one gets the clear sense that although Galileo will spend the rest of his life under house arrest, he has nevertheless won his war for the truth.

However, while the first person narrative helps this book to feel like a story and not fact-crammed, textbook-style non-fiction, first person has its l
Dec 06, 2013 Nashay rated it really liked it
The story chronicles Galileo’s life from his perspective. The reader learns that he uses his telescope as a microscope and is able to describe the flea that would be the carrier for the bubonic plague. You learn about his struggles of dropping out of school and losing his first job. The book is also in a chronological form so it puts his life in context with other significant events of that time. The book contains information on his inventions, famous experiments, and astronomic discoveries.
Sean Fowler
Dec 06, 2014 Sean Fowler rated it it was amazing
This is a great book to learn about Galileo, one the greatest discoverers in history. The book is told in first person form, so it almost feels as if there is a connection to the man himself. He was the first person to use a spyglass to view the vastness of space. His interest in the universe got him in trouble by the Catholic Church when he realized that there were other objects in space that did not orbit the Earth. This proved his theory that the Earth was not at the center of the solar syste ...more
Brittany & Kids
The story of Galileo's life told in first-person as he reminisces in his old age. I loved the painted illustrations. The book has plenty of information in story-book format, but was not terribly long. I stopped reading a few times to answer my 8yo's questions about something in the book, or to briefly explain my own opinions here and there. It gave us a good starting-point for discussion. I like the chronology timeline in the back that includes other things going on in the world along with Galil ...more
Apr 27, 2013 Liz rated it liked it
3.5 stars
What an interesting man! As usual, I learned a lot...but I did wonder about the first person narration. (Sources are not clearly listed...but bibliography, websites, timeline and other resources are included in the back matter.) The book was very "readable" and the Galileo's discoveries were significant! Could not believe that it wan't until 1992 that the Catholic Church admitted it was wrong and that Galileo was right--Earth and the planets DO revolve around the sun. Great illustration
Mrs.Melaugh Melaugh
Aug 12, 2012 Mrs.Melaugh Melaugh rated it really liked it
This picture book biography, told from the viewpoint of an elderly Galileo looking back on his life, sums up his monumental accomplishments. It does a good job of explaining the complicated situation of the Catholic Church’s influence in Renaissance times and how Galileo ran afoul of the Pope. The lovely illustrations have a stained glass feel and contribute well to the story. The back matter was outstanding! Though it is only a 32 page picture book, there is a chronology, lists of experiments a ...more
Sharon Lawler
From behind the walls of his home where he must remain per order of the Pope, an elderly, blind Galileo reflects on his life. His passion for experimentation and the truths to be discovered, led to his confinement as it contradicted the Church's teachings. Colorful illustrations surround the text as Galileo reminisces about his childhood and education, about his experiments and discoveries. Excellent notes-timeline, experiments, discoveries, glossary and bibliography.
Megan Howard
Nov 13, 2015 Megan Howard rated it it was amazing
I, Galileo is an excellent book for any young child who is beginning to learn about astronomy. The book hits on all of his major contributions and tells the story from his perspective which gives it a lot of heart. The illustrations are also absolutely lovely. They look sketched and lightly colored which gives them a lot of movement and emotion. Finally, the story teaches kids the importance of sticking to what you believe and the value of seeking knowledge.
This could be a great Battle of the Books choice. It's a simple biography, with enough information in the end notes for reports, that shows just what a genius Galileo was and how full of ups and downs his life was. I didn't know Galileo came up with the ideas for the pendulum clock, the thermometer, the compass, and the microscope as well as the telescope, or that he left college without graduating. Fast, fascinating read.
Raquel Paolucci
Oct 22, 2015 Raquel Paolucci rated it really liked it
I loved the fact that this book was told in first person for children; so instead of being bored about facts like a typical biography, they are able to stay tuned and more focused. I absolutely love Galileo and I am fascinated with all of his work that he did. I feel as though this is a wonderful book to introduce to the classroom when you're teaching them about space and stars. astronomy is such a great topic.
Jul 23, 2012 Alyson rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
Great introduction to Galileo. I had mixed feelings about the First Person narrative. It makes you see the world as he saw it, but doesn't sit right for a biography. Calling your own invention "ingenious" sounds obnoxious - someone else calling it "ingenious" is a real compliment.

and really the Catholic Church changed their mind about Galileo in 1992? You have to ponder these things for 400 years or so.
Excellent biography of Galileo Galilei, who invented the telescope and microscope to see as much of life as he could. Beautifully told and richly illustrated, this book is a perfect way to introduce kids to the scientist who met up against the Inquisition in a search for truth. I loved every page, from the first to the last!
This pictorial biography is very well done, excellent illustrations, and the author does her best to explain the science and politics at what i would think is a third grade level.

I had not realized all the inventions that Galileo crested, and each is well explained.

a most enjoyable and informative book.
Patrick Antenucci
Oct 13, 2013 Patrick Antenucci rated it liked it
Shelves: ch2-nsta
Story of Galileo from birth to his sad imprisonment. Illustrations are done so that the book carries and older feel to it. Galileo narrates as he takes the reader through the days of his greatest inventions and successes and to his unfortunate fall from favor. Lots of text makes me recommend it for children a bit older.
Wonderfully informative children's biography about "the father of modern science." Great for any school library for possible biography reports or just for fun. Also fantastic for discussions about how Galileo was treated for his progressive thoughts more than 400 years ago and how differently scientists and scientific discoveries are viewed today.
Abby Johnson
Sep 03, 2012 Abby Johnson rated it liked it
A fine picture book biography of Galileo, but despite the first-person narration I didn't feel a real connection with this "father of modern science". I'd recommend Peter Sis's Starry Messenger instead.

PS: The Catholic Church didn't admit that Galileo was right and he shouldn't have been imprisoned until 1992?! Yikes!
Anja Manning
Nov 14, 2012 Anja Manning rated it it was amazing
This book presents an honest look on the discoveries and the life of Galileo. Bonnie Christensen's illustrations are beautiful, creating a feel for the period, and an atmosphere of discovery and change.
The book includes maps, a chronology, and a list of Galileo's experiments, inventions, and discoveries. A glossary, bibliography and list of websites are also included.
Oct 06, 2012 Mary added it
Shelves: caoimhe, biography
Caoimhe: "What happened to Copernicus?"
Me, checking book, "They put him to death."
Caoimhe: "How?"
Me, checking book,: "They burned him at the stake."
Caoimhe: "What does that even mean?"
Me: "That they put him in a fire."
Caoimhe: "Like a marshmallow?"
Me: "Yes."
Caoimhe: "Because he said the sun was at the center and not the earth?"
Me: "Yes."
Caoimhe: "That's so silly."
Gail Shipley
Mar 14, 2015 Gail Shipley rated it really liked it
I enjoyed reading about the experiments Galileo did and can see students recreating the same ones. I find it interesting that the Roman Catholic church did not declare that Galileo was right that the sun was the center of our solar system until 1992. Book has 2 contrasting points of view and also teaches about sticking to your convictions which I like.
Nov 04, 2012 Karen rated it really liked it
Another Cybils nonfiction picture book nominee - I have many students that will love this book. The idea of investigating ideas that intrigue you over a period of time - the perseverance Galileo had to have is amazing.
Kelley Beatty
This book was very, very long and kind of boring. It was the only book so far that i didn't like at all. It was well written and the informational and the pictures were pretty, it was just boring. I cannot see any child sitting through it.
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