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Newton's Rainbow

Written by Kathryn Lasky

Illustrated by Kevin Hawkes

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

ISBN 978-0374355135

Famed for his supposed encounter with a falling apple that inspired his theory of gravity, Isaac Newton (1642–1727) grew from a quiet and curious boy to one of the most influential scientists of all time.  Readers will enjoy this informative and entertaining biography.


Junior Library Guild Selection


“Lasky’s eye for the telling detail and Hawkes’ child-friendly illustrations capture the young Isaac Newton’s school days and his creative work during the bubonic plague and the Great Fire of London. ... Text and art work well together to portray Newton’s curiosity and sense of wonder.”

"Lasky’s appealing narrative zeroes in on Newton’s curiosity and hunger to learn about the world, characteristics likely to resonate with children today. Young readers will come away with plenty of facts about the scientist, but they also might chuckle at his antics and absentmindedness.”


“Lasky and Hawkes provide a sensitive look at Isaac Newton. Hawkes’s soft paintings tenderly capture Newton’s discipline and the lifelong drive toward discovery.”

Publisher's Weekly

Insider's Scoop

One of the things I liked most about illustrating Newton’s Rainbow was researching Sir Isaac Newton’s notebooks.   I based all of the little drawings in the margins on his original notebook sketches.  One drawing I could not figure out for the longest time had a squiggly spiral line.  After some time, I realized it was the beginning of a drawing which Newton had scribbled out.  YES!  I thought.  If Isaac Newton could make a mistake, so could I!!  That little drawing gives me lots of hope.

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