Review: Come See the Earth Turn: The Story of Léon Foucault by Lori Mortensen
By Tina Vasquez, for The Children’s Book Review
Published: December 5, 2010
By Lori Mortensen (Author), Raul Allen (Illustrator)
Reading level: Ages 7-9
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Tricycle Press (September 14, 2010)
In Come See the Earth Turn we immediately learn that physicist Jean Bernard Léon Foucault was special from the very beginning, but not in the way you might think. He was a small, sickly baby who turned into an introverted, slow-moving boy and because of his rocky start in life, many were surprised by his talent for building clever and inventive contraptions. At the urging of his mother, Léon enrolled in medical school with the hope of fulfilling his mother’s dream for him to become a surgeon, but the profession did not sit well with Léon and he eventually dropped out. It wasn’t a total waste however, because it was in the labs at his school that the young man discovered his true passion: physics.
As young readers will learn in Come See the Earth Turn, there are many reasons Léon is an important part of history. Not only was he the first person to photograph the sun, but he was also the first to accurately measure the speed of light. His most important discovery; however, was the result of a happy accident in his laboratory and it once and for all proved that the earth spins on an axis, a claim that had been disputed for years by scholars, scientists, and other educated people of the time.
Part history lesson and part children’s book, Come See the Earth Turn puts complicated science into its simplest terms and sheds light on how Léon created his world famous Foucault pendulum, an invention that would prove to the general public and his critics that the earth rotated.
Young readers will find the realistic illustrations captivating, while also learning the story of Léon Foucault, an unlikely genius.
Add this book to your collection: Come See the Earth Turn
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