Galileo's Telescope.


40 pages
Contains Index
ISBN 978-0-7787-3694-3
DDC j823'.92




Illustrations by Leighton Noyes and Karen Radford
Reviewed by Trish Chatterley


These two books form part of a much larger series of books about famous individuals from history. Brother and sister Digby and Hannah Pratt visit the Knicknack Market every Saturday and inevitably find a treasure that leads to the telling of a story by the market vendor(s). The pages of dialogue give brief information about the individual of interest and social commentary about the time in question, and include cartoon-style drawings of the characters dressed in period garb. These are supplemented by coloured pages that provide more detailed factual information and more scholarly artistic depictions drawn from various art collections. Not all the images have captions; additional ones would be useful.


Galileo’s Telescope presents a brief biography of the famous astronomer Galileo Galilei. The reader learns about his talents as a mathematician and an inventor of gadgets, as well as the difficulties and punishments he faced for his astronomical theories that were in opposition to the traditional teachings of the Catholic Church.


In Julius Caesar’s Sandals, a depiction of Roman society circa 100 B.C. is presented, outlining such things as a typical house, the distinction between nobility and slaves, and the importance of the gladiator games. The story follows Caesar’s rise to power, his various military exploits, his marriage to the infamous Cleopatra, and his assassination.


The playful teasing between Digby and Hannah is something with which most children will be able to identify. The combination of narrative and factual pages provides a nice mix that makes the books suitable for the varied reading levels encountered within school classes. The factual pages can be a bit drab, so the bright colours of the cartoon drawings liven up the books. They are not really “fun” books, but they are certainly informative. Recommended.


Bailey, Gerry, and Karen Foster., “Galileo's Telescope.,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 24, 2024,