The Librarian Who Measured the Earth

by Kathryn Lasky

Hardcover, 1994



Local notes

921 ERA



Little Brown Books (1994), Edition: 1st, 48 pages


Describes the life and work of Eratosthenes, the Greek geographer and astronomer who accurately measured the circumference of the Earth.

Original language


Physical description

48 p.; 8.88 inches


0316515264 / 9780316515269



User reviews

LibraryThing member RebeccaE
The Librarian Who Measured the Earth is a picture book about an ancient Greek mathematician and geographer. The story starts off with a cute description of Eratosthenes as a baby and soon becomes complex as it describes how he calculated the circumference of the earth. It's a noble effort to
Show More
attempt to explain something mathematically complicated to picture book readers. I think of it as a seed planting book. Children reading it may not understand everything going on in the book, but it plants the seeds of ideas in their heads that will inform future studies or inspire them to learn more about ancient Greece or some of the mathematical concepts described.

Any book that takes math out of the realm of worksheets and turns it into a living subject with a history and personalities is well worth reading.
Show Less
LibraryThing member mrs_rgutierrez
There is a Greece boy named Eratosthenes who was a questionaire. he was filled with questions and looked for the answers. He was interested in geography, but no one had answers for geography. He set forth to answer his own questions and in doing so he made the first geography book. He lived to old
Show More
age still having questions to be asked.

I liked the pictures and the moral of the story. It allows children to know that there are many questions they will acquire through their life. It is okay to have questions and sometimes there might not be an answer known and they will have to find out the answer themselves.

I would have the students learn about Greece. The students would learn about the school material used to write with and write on. I would also have them learn the sports that were played in that time.
Show Less
LibraryThing member JanaRose1
This picture book relates the story of Eratosthenes, a librarian, historian and mathematician. Around 200 B.C. As a child, he loved to ask questions and explore science and math. As an adult, Eratosthenes became a tutor to the son of King Ptolemy II of Egypt, where he succeeded in estimating the
Show More
circumference of the Earth. The author attempts to explain his mathematical concepts in easy-to-understand language however, I suspect that it would still be too complex for young children.
Show Less
LibraryThing member maryanntherese
The story of Eratosthenes, the librarian of Alexandria who accurately measured the circumferrence of the earth in the third century BC. This is a very short story which can be read in one sitting.
LibraryThing member SJeanneM
Great book for children in the 8-10 age range. Not so great for younger children. This book tells the story of the first person to write a complete geography book and how he figured out the measurements without the modern tools we have today. Great book that points out the good things about asking
Show More
Show Less
LibraryThing member mks27
This biography tells the life story of the Greek scholar, Eratosthenes, the father of modern day geography, who lived more than two thousand years ago. Although there is not much known about the personal life of Eratosthenes, Lasky presents Eratosthenes professional work and accomplishments. The
Show More
most prominent of these being the measurement of the circumference of the world and the writing the first book of geography.

Kathryn Lasky makes curiosity and asking questions a positive quality in young Eratosthenes. Indeed, she connects his curiosity to his many discoveries. The illustrations by Kevin Hawkes are brightly colored and add a light feeling and humor to this subject. Many of the illustrations show children or animals in a humorous or lighthearted way.

Eratosthenes is portrayed in an objective way. His work is shown with his successes and failures. However, the author writes in the author’s note that she needed to make up information, especially about parts of his life that are unknown, using an educated guess. I recommend this book to older, more advanced children and adults interested in math and science and for people, like me, who are interested in learning something new.
Show Less
LibraryThing member rdg301library
Kathryn Lasky brings to life Eratosthenes of Cyrene by giving some, but not all, details of his life. She gives some background of him as a child and relates him to the children of today. This story is about Eratosthenes’ life and his journeys. After becoming the tutor to the son of King Ptolemy
Show More
III of Egypt, he becomes a librarian. There he makes great discoveries from science to math, including measuring the circumference of the Earth. This colorful and inviting book is sure to keep readers interested. This is a good book to bring all areas of study together.

This book demonstrates to students that you do not need to be a mathematician to be able to do math. This biography gives students insight into the life of a famous, yet not well known, librarian, who not only makes mathematical discoveries, but scientific ones as well. Although this book is not a math book per se, it opens minds to connect all areas of study.

Reading Level: 5.8
Show Less
LibraryThing member kjensen55
Excellent children’s nonfiction book. The writing is creative and reads like a story. The details in both the text and images are amazingly accurate and make learning about Eratosthenes enjoyable. The book would be a great introduction to math concepts of measurement and geometry. The book could
Show More
also be used to learn about ancient Greek and Egyptian culture.
Show Less
LibraryThing member themulhern
Somewhat over inspirational biography of Eratosthenes. There are really nice illustrations of Eratosthenes technique for estimating the circumference of the earth, however. Also a new word, "betamist". A betamist is an especially trained walker, whose paces can be used to calculate distances.
Show More
Alexander of Macedon kept a few, so he could map out the empire he conquered with reasonable accuracy.
Show Less
LibraryThing member root.katy
Beautifully illustrated book that celebrates the life and times of a curious mind. Kathryn Lasky was fascinated by Eratosthenes, a librarian who lived over two thousand years ago. Because of the incredible amount of information written by classical historians and historians of science, she was able
Show More
to write this biography.
Show Less
LibraryThing member alcrumpler
• Eratosthenes was born a very inquisitive boy. As he grew up, his curiosity did not leave, but carried him to great places. From gymnasium school in his home town, to the Greek capital city, and even to Egypt to tutor the king Ptolemy III’s son, Phiolopator in Alexandria. Eratosthenes was a
Show More
plethora of information, but still one question pondered him, the size of the earth. He realized that if he stood in one spot by his library at a certain time, he would be able to calculate the size of the earth. With multiple equations of angles, division and finding the circumference, Eratosthenes’ question was answered.
Show Less






(52 ratings; 4.2)
Page: 0.345 seconds