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What Miss Mitchell Saw

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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 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.


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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 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.

30 review for What Miss Mitchell Saw

  1. 4 out of 5

    David Schaafsma

    Maria Mitchell, America’s first professional female astronomer, is the subject of this fine picture book written by Hayley Barrett and illustrated by Diana Sudyka. In 1847, by using a telescope, she discovered a comet, now known as "Miss Mitchell's Comet." She learned science and astronomy from her father and other American astronomers, who supported her claim to the King of Denmark, who gave her a gold medal for her landmark discovery. A review from the always amazing Maria Popova: Maria Mitchell, America’s first professional female astronomer, is the subject of this fine picture book written by Hayley Barrett and illustrated by Diana Sudyka. In 1847, by using a telescope, she discovered a comet, now known as "Miss Mitchell's Comet." She learned science and astronomy from her father and other American astronomers, who supported her claim to the King of Denmark, who gave her a gold medal for her landmark discovery. A review from the always amazing Maria Popova: https://www.brainpickings.org/2019/10... I paraphrase Popova here: The book ends with the motto on the medal: “Not in vain do we watch the setting and the rising of the stars” — a sentiment that echoes the dying words of the great astronomer Tycho Brahe, which Adrienne Rich incorporated into her tribute to Caroline Herschel, the world’s first professional woman astronomer: “Let me not seem to have lived in vain.” One of several recent and inspirational STEM-related picture books for girls on the history of science.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ben Truong

    What Miss Mitchell Saw is a children's picture book written by Hayley Barrett and illustrated by Diana Sudyka. It is a biographical picture book of Maria Mitchell – an astronomer. Maria Mitchell was an American astronomer, who in 1847 by using a telescope and discovered a comet, which as a result became known as "Miss Mitchell's Comet". She won a gold medal prize for her discovery, which was presented to her by King Christian VIII of Denmark. Mitchell was the first American woman to work as a What Miss Mitchell Saw is a children's picture book written by Hayley Barrett and illustrated by Diana Sudyka. It is a biographical picture book of Maria Mitchell – an astronomer. Maria Mitchell was an American astronomer, who in 1847 by using a telescope and discovered a comet, which as a result became known as "Miss Mitchell's Comet". She won a gold medal prize for her discovery, which was presented to her by King Christian VIII of Denmark. Mitchell was the first American woman to work as a professional astronomer. Barrett's text is rather simplistic, straightforward, and informative. Barrett focuses on Mitchell's life up to the moment she discovered a comet, emphasizing her persistence and her environment. Additional notes on Mitchell's path-breaking career could be found in the backmatter. Sudyka's watercolor, ink, and gouache illustrations show stars gleaming from the ocean depths and inching up a woman's hem as Mitchell herself is swept aloft by their beauty and power. The premise of the book is rather straightforward. Born in 1818 to a family of Nantucket Quakers, Mitchell earned international renown for discovering a comet in 1847, winning the King of Denmark's gold medal and besting male claimants to the prize. The narrative tells the story of her birth to her discovery of a new comet. All in all, What Miss Mitchell Saw is a wonderful biographical picture book about the perseverance of Maria Mitchell – an astronomer.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I cannot be the only person bothered by "thee" where it should be "thou" all throughout this book.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    This story is written about Miss Maria Mitchell an astronomer who a comet that nobody had ever seen before and received a medal because of this discovery. The structure of this book takes you on a journey through her life showing her curious and adventurous nature. It talks of how her father taught her and inspired her love for space. She was a woman of detail as she could pick up names easily. You feel a sense of growth as you follow her through the book as she grows up and becomes an This story is written about Miss Maria Mitchell an astronomer who a comet that nobody had ever seen before and received a medal because of this discovery. The structure of this book takes you on a journey through her life showing her curious and adventurous nature. It talks of how her father taught her and inspired her love for space. She was a woman of detail as she could pick up names easily. You feel a sense of growth as you follow her through the book as she grows up and becomes an inspirational woman for her determination and passions. The story has an empowering message for women and young girls to aspire them to want to make something of themselves. It shows the importance of following your interests and the art of enjoying the small things in life. The book is a biography of sorts as it is written about Miss Maria Mitchells life and how she became an astronomer however it is written in a way like a picture book which makes it suitable and more inspiring for younger children. I like that upon reading the story you wouldn’t realise that it is actually about an astronomer until the end, leaving you to become more and more inspired as you read on. It has a simplicity to it that makes you intrigued by the little girl in the story. You also find yourself learning something new about someone you may not have known before. The illustrations throughout the book are also really lovely, they generally cover majority of the page and look painted, which also flows with the text. I personally do not have any dislikes about this this book as I find it a gripping picture book. However, on reflection from a child’s point of view it could been seen as lightly complicated as it mentions ‘big’ scientific words in which they may not be able to understand depending on the age of the child. I also feel that it would probably inspire females more than males at it is all about what a female astronomer has made of her life. Also, with the generation that we are in females are more keen to be noticed and respected as through history this hasn’t always been the case, this would also empower and inspire females more than males within the book. When she is looking at the stars in the book through her telescope the pages tend to become double page spread and the words flow through the sky as if they are part of the atmosphere. The illustrator has also used a range of bright colours to show Marias perception on her surroundings. Within the pages that are showing Maria looking at the stars, she is also in dark colours and at times has stars all over her insinuating that she is part of the stars. There is a lot of use of complex words to do with space which could spark questions with children who you read it too. Within a classroom I would be encouraged to use this book in KS2 potentially upper key stage two as within those years they begin to look at space in science so it would be a good book to use to link the topics between subjects. You could also go into further detail and do a fact file or find more information on Maria Mitchell or you could look at the scientific instruments that were mentioned through the book as the children may not have heard about this. Within their English lessons you could also use the book as different way of writing an inspiring story about a famous person of their choice, working on their biography writing.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Anneke Alnatour

    Thee shut up! My eldest said to my second daughter while reading the book. They loved the use of language and the story. It is definitely more geared towards older children, and the illustrations are fabulous, and so is the story telling. I truly enjoyed it and even found myself teary eyed in the end. I had never heard of Miss Mitchell, nor have we been to Nantucket, but if we ever decide to go, a visit to her house in order. A great role model for girls and women! Highly recommended.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Bookish

    Maria Mitchell swept the sky nightly with a telescope from the roof of her Nantucket home. In 1847, at the age of 29, Miss Mitchell was the first person in the world to spot a comet still known by her name. After winning her a Danish gold medal for her sighting, strong backmatter in this picture book explains that Miss Mitchell went on to a distinguished career as an astronomer and activist. Chalky illustrations on dark pages evoke the night sky, and simple language celebrating Miss Mitchell's Maria Mitchell swept the sky nightly with a telescope from the roof of her Nantucket home. In 1847, at the age of 29, Miss Mitchell was the first person in the world to spot a comet still known by her name. After winning her a Danish gold medal for her sighting, strong backmatter in this picture book explains that Miss Mitchell went on to a distinguished career as an astronomer and activist. Chalky illustrations on dark pages evoke the night sky, and simple language celebrating Miss Mitchell's accomplishments befit her Quaker upbringing and modesty.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Mathew

    If I could give 6 starts, I would. There is no point writing a review when Maria Popova has already written one (see below). What I will say is that no only is the book absolutely beautiful but is tells an incredibly empowering biographical story of the Victorian astronomer, Maria Mitchell. https://www.brainpickings.org/2019/10...

  8. 4 out of 5

    Francesca Lee

    This book tells the story of what Miss Mitchell sees through her telescope looking up to the stars. I found the book used lots of interesting words related to astronomy which offers opportunities for widening children's vocabulary. I liked how this booked adressed astronomy, I haven't come across many that involve this theme.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

    In this biography of astronomer Maria Mitchell, I loved how the stars invade every picture and occasionally entwine with Miss Mitchell's outline. The end notes about her life not covered in the text are excellent and worth covering with older kids

  10. 5 out of 5

    Caterina

    Girl power. Stars. Planets. Comets. History. Family. Humility. Art. Not only did I learn about Maria Mitchell and astronomy, I discovered that coffee company names Starbucks and Folgers are also those of whaling families. #picturebooksrock

  11. 5 out of 5

    Mrs. Jessie Otto

    Beautiful illustrations.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Cathy Mealey

    Not-to-be missed lush, lyrical prose and stunning illustrations. This book has it all, including my heart.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    A gloriously illustrated look at Maria Mitchell's early life up to her discovery of a new comet. More information is included in the endnotes.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jec

    wonderful story with captivating illustrations

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Ryan

    Visually stunning and impactful.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Edward Sullivan

    A beautifully illustrated, inspiring introduction to how Maria Mitchell became the first American professional female astronomer.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    Some of the text feels visually jumbled, but other than that, it's a good story.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jo Oehrlein

    The story of Maria Mitchell, how she learned to scan for stars, and the comet that she spotted before anyone else in the world.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    Maria Mitchell was an American woman astronomer from Nantucket who discovered a comet in 1847. She also became a professor at Vassar. Beautiful illustrations by Diana Sudyka

  20. 5 out of 5

    Tina Hoggatt

    Lyrically written, filled with facts and the arc of a life of family and science, this biography is beautifully illustrated by Diana Sudyka. Perfection.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Earl

    This gorgeous picture book tells the story of someone I didn't know before but am glad I do now. Readers will be inspired to look up at the stars after learning about Maria Mitchell and her accomplishments.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Michelle (FabBookReviews)

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jmgrey

  24. 4 out of 5

    Dylan Teut

  25. 5 out of 5

    Anne Lutomia

  26. 4 out of 5

    Cathy Breisacher

  27. 5 out of 5

    Keri

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

  29. 5 out of 5

    Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy)

  30. 4 out of 5

    Maggie Mattmiller

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