This recycled cardboard home telescope began it’s life as two paper towel rolls. We added some reading glasses and paint to make a homemade telescope just like the one Sadiq, the protagonist from Sadiq and the Desert Star, used to help him look for stars.
Sadiq and the Desert Star is a new book by Somali American Siman Nuurali and illustrated by Anjan Sarkar. It was published by Capstone and they recently sent me an advanced copy to enjoy.
My daughter read the story, and had lots of questions about Berbera, Somalia, where Sadiq was from. We learned it is a coastal city and was the most important place of trade in the entire Horn of Africa. Sadiq’s grandfather used the desert star to guide his caravan trips through the Sahara Desert.
After we spent some time learning about Berbera, my daughter gathered supplies to start her telescope right away. She wanted to see if she could really see Mars, just like Sadiq and his friends at the observatory.
The first step my daughter took in making her own telescope is to cut one of the paper rolls lengthwise.
She took the cut paper roll and placed it inside the other tube.
Next, I helped my daughter pop out the glasses from their frame and she taped one to the end of the cut paper roll. She made sure to place the curved side facing the tube.
Once that end was secure, she did the same to the other end, but this time she made sure the curved side of the glass faced away from the cardboard.
Next we painted the tube with cardboard paint. You can use any paint you want, but we thought it might be fun to use chalkboard paint so that we could use chalk on the tube to write down what we saw.
We had a bit of a problem trying to paint over the tape that attach the glasses. I think when we make more telescopes for our upcoming space club, we will have everyone paint their tubes before taping on the glasses.
Now our telescope was ready. We wanted to take a photo in the daytime to show you what it looks like, but please never, ever use your telescope to look at the sun. This is dangerous and could really hurt your eyesight.
While she did love this book overall, she was confused as to why Sadiq’s mother and sister were wearing the hijab in the kitchen. Her own grandmother and aunt, who wear the hijab everyday, always take it off when they come home.
My daughter did love the facts about Somalia that was included, as well as the new Somali terms she got to practice. For example, in Somali, a grandfather is awoowe, but in Libyan we use jidu. I also loved the glossary in the back for the astronomy terms, plus the sections that encouraged kids to talk about and write down their thoughts about the book.
There are more Sadizq books coming out and my daughter can’t wait to read them:
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