Perfect Picture Book Friday/Starry Messenger

Hi Friends!

Here is my gift to you. Are you searching for the reason why you write? Or are you a writer or an author?

Check out this link from Tara Lazar. One that Donna hosted. about T A. .Barron’s web site, a story-teller I wish I had been. He wrote books on Merlin and Avalon and his web site has a video on the Barron Award by Jane Goodall. A great site if you idealize good picture book authors. Ok the above link came from inside this one. This one is about the Maryland, Delaware and West VA SCBWI conference in March. If you  hurry there  might just be a place for you. I thought hard about attending this. IF I had a manuscript ready for the face to face critique I would have registered but I don’t have one. I’ve got many ideas and one is languishing in 12×12 but it’s lonely there. I’m not getting the feedback necessary to call it a critique. And these conferences are expensive. So I’m not going. Boo hoo.

However, if you belong to 12×12 and would like to give me a hand with my manuscript it’s called “I’m on Amazon.” And I would give my eye teeth if you would go over and give me some feedback. Give me the title of your manuscript and I’ll repay the favor. Really. Just go to the comments and lets play. *Yay*

Ok here we go. The PPBF selection. Ta da!

Starry cover_Title: Starry Messenger

Author/Illustrator: Peter Sis

Published by: Frances Foster Books, 1990, Biography, nonfiction, A Caldecott Honor Book, Ala Notable book, School Library Journal best book of the year.

Themes: Galileo, Galilei, Galileo, 1504-1642, biography, astronomers, scientists, Italy, wonder, telling truth, honesty, standing up for oneself, space and stars, self-respect, self acceptance, science, religion, philosophy, perseverance, exploration, discovery, challenging assumptions, bravery, courage,

Resources: For Peter Sis’s web site: for specifics on the book. And for teacher guides go here: and it will give discussion on history up to what your kids wonder about. 

Appropriate for ages: Second grade on up.

First Three Sentences: For hundreds of years, most people thought the earth was the center of the universe, and the sun and the moon and all the other planets revolved around it. They did not doubt or wonder if this was true. They just followed tradition.

What The Jacket says: In every age there are courageous people who break with tradition to explore new ideas and challenge accepted truths, Galileo Galilei was just such a man – genius- and the first to turn the telescope to the skies to map the heavens. IN doing so, he offered objective evidence that the earth was not the fixed center of the universe but that it and all the other planets revolved around the sun.Galileo kept careful notes and made beautiful drawings of all that he observed.  Through  his telescope he brought the stars down to earth for everyone to see.

By changing the way people saw the galaxy, Galileo was also changing the way they saw themselves and their place in the universe. This was very exciting , but to some it was deeply disturbing. Galileo had upset the harmonious view of heaven and earth that had been accepted since ancient times. He had turned the world  upside down.

In this amazing new book, Peter Sis employs the artist’s lens to give us an extraordinary view of the life of Galileo Galilei. Sis tells his story in language as simple as a fairy tale, in pictures rich and tightly woven as a tapestry, and in Galileo’s own words, written more than 350 years ago and still resonant with truth.

Why I love it: As the jacket says and it says it all, Sis has told us a story of a great man in ways that excel all previous stories. In the margins of the pictures he has told us Galileo’s own words and told another story in the text. The book is enjoyable for both the reader and the child being read to. And it passes the test of being read over and over. I was lucky enough to see and hear Peter Sis in our library once upon a time when he came for our One Community One Book festival on his book “The Wall”. I feel very fortunate to have spent an hour in his company. He was very generous in explaining how he came from a place that no longer existed and how he couldn’t go home. The talk moved me as much as his book. Ever since I have had a fascination about this author/illustrator.

And as my friend Beth Stillborn says. “Every Friday, bloggers join together to share picture book reviews and resources, thanks to author Susanna Leonard Hill’s brainchild, “Perfect Picture Book Fridays.” Susanna then adds the books (and links to the reviews) to a comprehensive listing by subject on her blog. Find the entire listing at her “Perfect Picture Books.”

Have a Greeaat Weekend!!


About ClaraBowmanJahn

Journal writer. Author of "Annie's Special Day" And coauthor of Edmund Pickle Chin, A Donkey Rescue Story." Proud mother and grandmother of wonderful kids. Wife of brilliant husband. Servant of two cats. Member of Pennwriters and SCBWI.
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24 Responses to Perfect Picture Book Friday/Starry Messenger

  1. This looks like a wonderful story. The cover illustration is lovely.


  2. I just signed up for the mddewv scbwi last night! Beautiful book. Beautiful story about your meeting with Mr. Sis.


  3. I LOVE Peter Sis’s books…gorgeous! I page through them every time I visit our city’s art museum and gift shop. And, if I remember right, he is Czechoslovakian…which is even better! (My heritage ;-})


    • clarbojahn says:

      Oh so maybe you know people in common. He’s from Prague and has a book out called the Wall about it. It’s very good and relevant to the awful division the communists did to separate people from loved ones. Once Sis came to the states to accept an award and couldn’t go back home because of that. I just loved his talk. it was full with real life photos. 🙂


  4. Joanna says:

    Clar, I also am in awe of Peter Sis and his work and have reviewed many of his books, but not this one. So happy to discover another of his treasures.


  5. BIG fan of Sis! I haven’t seen this a t my library, but I’ll have to suggest it for purchase! Look forward to reading this one!


  6. My Mom Person got really excited about this one. She loves all things Galileo! We’re not familiar with Mr Sis, but I bet we’ll get to know him now! Thanks for this review!


  7. says:

    So glad you showcased Peter Sis, he is an amazing author! Thanks, Clar:)linda:)   


  8. A beautiful book and I loved your beautiful review Clar. Amazing you met this man. I have been to Prague and it is a beautiful city with much history, full of stories. Thank you for sharing Clar.


  9. This book, and the author sound fascinating. I like books that tell the reader about a change in thinking – then it seems that much more possible for our thinking to change from what it is now. Thank you.


  10. Just visited your blog for teh first time (came over from the wonderful The View Outside) and I was really interested by the book about Galieo….roughly what age range. I’m guessing nine/ten year olds. Also thank you for links to other places and useful websites. Given Sunday chores etc etc I shall be following them up


    • clarbojahn says:

      Welcome to my blog, Bridget. So glad you enjoyed my post.

      I remedied the fact that I had forgotten to put the age for this book down. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. I think one can never be too old for picture book biographies so I put on up to the ages appropriate for. If you like picture books you came to right place as I review one every Friday for Susanna’s blog and Perfect Picture Book Fridays. You may want to go to that link and see all it has to offer.

      Next week I’m writing on another by Peter Sis, and I welcome you to come back. 🙂


  11. Judith says:

    I enjoyed your article suggestion….thanks.


  12. My kind of book. Love this book available for youth. Great choice for our list!!


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