A simple, but not simplistic look at Maria Mitchell and all the amazing things she saw comes to life in What Miss Mitchell Saw. Hayley Barret created a biography that reads as fiction about the first professional female astronomer. Yet, it is not just about what she saw (as what was out there had already been seen by others in the past) but the one very important find in the sky that made her world famous and respected by her peers and even a King.
The poetic text of Barret, and illustrations by Diana Sudyka, unfold on the page as we watch Maria grow as a child, helping her father with his own stargazing and finally discovering a new comet. Not only does this book show the history of women, scientists, and astronomy, it introduces readers to a time before we really knew what was “out there” in space.
The cover gives a look at what the tone of the book is, but the illustrations themselves are more realistic with a “drawing” aspect to them. However, stars present themselves in romantic manners as they grace Mitchell’s clothing or the surrounding area. The book is fun, clever, and fresh. It is for all ages, but the younger reader might not sit as there is not the traditional “action” of a picture book. A great tie-in to a science class, astronomy class or women’s history class. Also, would be a fun gift for the adult who is into astronomy, but probably best suited for a child who likes space, stars, and science.