Five Secrets in Box

Catherine Brighton, Author Dutton Books $11.95 (28p) ISBN 978-0-525-44318-6
Galileo's daughter Virginia sleeps as her father observes the night skies. By day he sleeps as she rustles up to his observatory. There she espies a box with five items in it: a round piece of glass that makes small things, like words, more visible; a second piece that makes a golden oriole in a distant tower appear nearer; a blue fragment that turns a hunting prince's day into night; another, a red one, sets the prince's world on fire, as his falcon flies to the lure; and finally, a soft, white feather. By her father's bedside, a book crashes to the floor while the feather floats down slowly. He places the feather in her hair and goes back to sleep, leaving Virginia to ""parade like a proud bird all day.'' In her extraordinary setting and highly elaborate mementos of things past, Brighton articulates the grand scheme of the idea of science in a simple story of mysterious crystals and colored worlds. Not unlike Pandora's box, Virginia's contains elements that irrevocably alter the future, In this captivating and imaginative work, exquisite patterns, checkered floors and fancifully colored artifacts uncover the iridescent Florentine past. Ages 4-8. (September)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1987
Release date: 09/01/1987
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