Thursday, May 04, 2017

Space Race! Charlotte the Scientist Is Squished by Camille Andros

Charlotte was a serious scientist.

Charlotte has all the right gear. She's got beakers, test tubes, tongs, tubes, and stoppers. She's got the lab coat, the protective glasses, and the clipboard. She's mastered the scientific method. She's all ready to do some serious experimenting. Except for one problem.

Charlotte is squished!

Charlotte the Rabbit has thirteen siblings. There's no private space at the dining table, no room in the bathtub...

And sometimes not even in the toilet!

Charlotte is not above trying a bit of charlatan science. She tries a formula for making her little brothers and sisters disappear. It doesn't work. She tries to make herself disappear, with no result. And the little ones persist in toying with her test tubes and breaking her beakers. There's no way to keep the baby bunnies out of her lab.

Charlotte decides that she needs more than the scientific method. SHE NEEDS SPACE!

If she was to going to get some space...

She would have to
go there!

Charlotte does the calculations and constructs herself a carrot-style rocket ship, and with her critical equipment in the cargo hold, she lifts off for Outer Space. Her mission is a success. The Carrot has landed!

Space is full of space! It's quiet and roomy, which makes it easy for Charlotte to record observations and carry out her experiments in peace. She rejoices in her tidy test tubes and peerless specimens. At last, she manages to get to Step Five of the Scientific Method: CONCLUSIONS!

Space is a scientist's dream. Except for a few complications.

What was Charlotte to do when she ran out of toilet paper?

Who was there to talk to? Who was there to play with when she need a break? Who was there to give her a hug?

As poet Robert Frost said, "Earth's the right place for love" (and t.p.), as Charlotte learns, in Camille Andros' just published Charlotte the Scientist Is Squished (Houghton Mifflin Clarion, 2017), as she lifts off for a happy touchdown back home, where she puts her big orange spaceship to its perfect use as just what she needed all along, not Outer Space at all, just...


Camille Andros' tale of too many siblings is well told, especially with the help of artist Brianna Farley's charming illustrations which make the best of the cast of cute and mischievous little bunny siblings and the young scientist who is determined to pursue her proclivity for science. Farley tucks in lots of rabbitty touches within her drawings, adding plenty of comic charm. Andros and Farley also append a final section on the steps in the scientific method to reinforce the incidental learning within the text for readers who like Charlotte, are into serious about their science.

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