Discover the amazing true story of Maria Mitchell, America’s first professional female astronomer.
Every evening, from the time she was a child, Maria Mitchell stood on her rooftop with her telescope and swept the sky. And then one night she saw something unusual—a comet no one had ever seen before! Miss Mitchell’s extraordinary discovery made her famous the world over and paved the way for her to become America’s first professional female astronomer.
Gorgeously illustrated by Diana Sudyka, this moving picture book about a girl from humble beginnings who became a star in the field of astronomy is sure to inspire budding scientists everywhere.
Diana Sudyka is a Chicago based illustrator. Early on, she created screenprinted gig posters for musicians but currently her illustration work focuses on young adult, middle grade, and children’s books. She has illustrated several volumes of the award-winning book series The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart and Circus Mirandus by Cassie Beasley, as well as the picture books Sometimes Rain by Meg Fleming and What Miss Mitchell Saw by Hayley Barrett. Visit her at DianaSudyka.com.
On an October evening in 1847, Maria Mitchell identified a comet in the heavens. Two days later, a Vatican astronomer saw it, too, but the world’s scientific community rightfully agreed to credit Maria with the discovery, naming the object Miss Mitchell’s Comet. Barrett begins with Maria’s Nantucket childhood, where Sudyka’s gorgeous gouache-and-watercolor starscapes already bleed through the fabric of her reality, shimmering in the ocean waters and along the hems of her dresses. The art often utilizes visual metaphor; dialogue flows across the page in swirling ribbons of text as Maria’s father teaches her how to “sweep the sky.” The language is simple and lyrical, preferring to evoke the wonder of the subject rather than get bogged down in scientific detail, and yet it manages to infuse a healthy dose of education, describing instruments and methods, as well as celestial objects. Back matter further details Mitchell’s distinguished career, and an author’s note gives an inspiring call to action. A beautiful biography about one watchful woman being seen by the world.