Starry messenger: A book depicting the life of a famous scientist, mathematician, astronomer, philosopher,
physicist Galileo Galilei
Sis, Peter (Farrar Straus Giroux, Frances Foster Books, 1996, 36pp.)
This is a picture book that can be read by (or to) several age groups. Each double page usually contains only one paragraph of text relating the story of Galileo, his astronomical discoveries and his trial by the Church. However this simple text is augmented and extended by the large medieval-style paintings and the additional sections of prose written in handwritten script. These include extra facts about Galileo's life and quotes from his writings. The more the reader delves into the extra details the bigger the picture that is drawn about this remarkable scientist. The final double page talking about his pardon by the Church 300 years after his death is particularly moving.
(FAMOUS SCIENTISTS; SPACE)
1001 inventions that changed the world
Challoner, Jack (ed.) (ABC Books, 2009, 960pp.)
Another “1001 Original” in the “Before You Die” series, this overview of technological advances is divided into chronological sections from “The ancient world” through to “The internet age”. It gives approximate times for those innovations unable to be specifically dated as well as years for later inventions, beginning with stone tools about 2,600,000 BCE and ending with the large Hadron Collider in 2008. Descriptions of each breakthrough are brief, ranging from a paragraph to half a page, and there are no detailed explanations of the inner workings of each invention. However what this book does provide is an impressive lengthy list of humankind’s ingenuity across a range of fields, illustrated with photographs or historical art on every double page spread. With an index at the front and a glossary and index of inventors at the end, information retrieval is easy and also assisted by cross-referencing in individual entries.
(FAMOUS SCIENTISTS; TECHNOLOGY)
Howard Florey: Miracle maker
Murray, Kirsty (Little Ark, Allen & Unwin, 1998, 32pp.)
Despite its unfortunate cramped appearance, this book is a good biography of Florey. It shows how his work was built on discoveries by others and was developed through the cooperative efforts of a team.
(FAMOUS SCIENTISTS. AUSTRALIAN)
Atoms, dinosaurs and DNA: 68 great New Zealand scientists
Meduna, Veronika and Rebecca Priestley (Random House New Zealand, 2008, 160pp.)
Adapted from a 2006 exhibition at the National Library of New Zealand, this book expands its coverage of scientific discovery in that country to include twice as many scientists. Taking a chronological approach since European colonisation, the first entries are for scientists such as Solander and Banks who were not New Zealand-born but investigated its unique natural environment and published their findings. Some of these scientists such as Ernest Rutherford are world-renowned whilst others are more famous in their own country or in their own specialty. The book is well-designed and laid out with personal photos and biographical information, awards, quotes and photos relevant to their field of expertise. This book provides a fascinating introduction to many fields of scientific endeavour as well as introducing readers to the inspiring men and women of New Zealand who have made outstanding contributions to it.
(FAMOUS SCIENTISTS; GENERAL SCIENCE)