The Librarian Who Measured the Earth by Kathryn Lasky. il Kevin Hawkes.
Little, Brown and Company: Boston, 1994.

An amazing book about an incredible man! If it's not enough that Eratosthenes was the chief librarian of the most famous library of ancient times-maybe ever-how about that he was able to figure out the circumference of the Earth using time, the angle of a shadow, rudimentary measuring techniques, and his mathematical knowledge? Add to that the fact that he had to research bits and pieces of information from the scrolls in the library and put it all together himself. All of this prompted by a question no one else could answer. Questions spurred his education from the beginning and set the course for his life.

The book is as much about Ancient Greek culture and education as it is about Eratosthenes, since there isn't much information to be found about him. Enough though to stimulate curiosity and inspire awe, which is exactly what the book does.

The illustrations work perfectly with story. The pictures are detailed but in a blurred way instead of exact. There is great use of color-vibrant in parts and subdued in others-with a smoothness throughout. I particularly enjoyed the shelves of scrolls, the sliced pie with the tiny people and camel, and the spread with the surveyors walking their measured steps. The pictures are so good that the book can be introduced to young kids despite the difficult concepts in the book. For young ones you will want to read ahead to determine if you want to skip some or reword some of the story.

related-Eratosthenes, measurement of Earth, Greek Astronomy, Ancient Geography, geographers, astronomers, library at Alexandria, Greek gymnasium or school

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