Shadow on the Moon
A Child’s Guide to the Discovery of the Solar System
Char Matejovsky, author
Robaire Ream, illustrator
Is the earth flat, a square, or a sphere? Geocentric or heliocentric? How do we know? Using rhyme and imaginative illustrations, Shadow on the Moon takes children on a scientific journey from Aristotle and Aristarchus, through Ptolemy, Copernicus, and Galileo, to Kepler and Newton.
Among the most profound advances in all of science is the suggestion, by Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus, that the sun, rather than the earth, is the center of the universe. His heliocentric model upended the Ptolemaic view of an earth-centered universe that had held sway for nearly 1400 years. Worse still, it contradicted Aristotle, and thus was considered heretical by some. But the so-called heresies didn’t start or stop there. In the third century BCE, two millennia before Copernicus, Aristarchus challenged Aristotle’s geocentric model of the universe. And a century after Copernicus, using data collected by Tycho Brahe, Kepler proposed a new model that abandoned Aristotle’s perfect circles in favor of—perish the thought!—an ellipse.
Just how did this story play out over 2000 years? And what were the key contributions along the way? Through visuals that set the stories in their time and place and models of the solar system that evolve page by page, Shadow on the Moon invites parents and children to share the process of discovery. » See inside the book (PDF)
Recommended for ages 8 and up
Praise for Shadow on the Moon:
“Creative and clever … historically and scientifically accurate. … I strongly recommend this book to children and their teachers and parents.”
—Myles W. Jackson, The Dibner Family Professor of the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology, Polytechnic Institute of New York University
“This book fills the bill for what teachers and librarians are always hoping to find: It combines literature (in the form of poetry) with science content (illustrated with drawings, diagrams, and time lines) in a fast-paced format that is visually interesting, solidly historical, and cleverly rhymed.”
—Barbara McBride Smith, School Librarian (retired) & Professional Storyteller
“Factual, yet fun, presented through verse, Shadow on the Moon is the perfect way to introduce children to the evolution of our understanding of how our solar system works. Perfect for Common Core.”
— Sandy Spaulding, Principal, White Rock Elementary School
Praise for Matejovsky & Ream’s Stones & Bones, a 2008 selection of BioScience magazine:
“This is the most witty, accurate, scientific, succinct, intriguing treatment of a summary of human and life evolution over 60 + million years that has presented complete to date.”
— Midwest Book Review
Char Matejovsky is Managing Editor for books and journals at Polebridge Press. A recipient of the Outstanding Achievement in Songwriting Award from the Great American Song Contest (2004), she has a B.A from the University of Montana and a French Language Certificate from the University of Paris, Sorbonne. She is the author of Stones & Bones: A Child’s Guide to Evolution (2007).
Robaire Ream has more than 30 years of graphic design and production experience, with a diverse graphic design résumé that includes work as a stained glass window designer, art instructor, and prop and background designer for Warner Bros. Animation. He has a graphic arts certificate from Ecole Sornas, France, and studied graphic design at California State University Northridge. He is the illustrator of Stones & Bones: A Child’s Guide to Evolution (2007) and the illustrator/author of The Keeper of Color (2011).