Sunday, March 03, 2019

The Strange Case of the Crooked Carrots: Charlotte the Scientist Finds A Cure by Camille Andros

Charlotte was a serious scientist!

She lived in the forest with her bunny-sized family, which was better than ever.

Because Grandpa had moved in.

Grandpa is a doctor, so naturally he encourages Charlotte's dedication to the scientific method--researching, experimenting, and hypothesizing solutions.

And there is a medical malady in their woodsy paradise. All the animals have the trots--with griping stomachs and mad dashes for the potty. Even Grandpa falls sick with the unknown ailment.

But Charlotte is on the case!

Medical examiner Charlotte suits up in lab coat, mask and gloves, and begins her research, gathering patient histories. She even does clinical research outside the neighborhood privy and quarantines all the cases, but the epidemic continues unabated.

Charlotte dissected the data and plotted out patterns.

Then Charlotte's keen eye makes a critical observation:

Everyone who was sick had been eating carrots!

And all the carrots were suspiciously malformed. Charlotte has her hypothesis: The crooked carrots appear to be the vector of the disease. Charlotte collects specimens, analyzes them in her lab, and researches her findings in the Comprehensive Compendium of Carrot Conditions. Aha!

It could only be--Funky Forest Fungi.

It's the carrots that need a quarantine and cure, and this perky protagonist comes up with the treatment for the pesky carrot disease. It's microbiologist Charlotte the Scientist to the rescue in Camille Andros' second book in the series, Charlotte the Scientist Finds a Cure (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Clarion, 2019).

Andros encourages young readers to do their own research with a quick review of the scientific method and her premise that young amateur scientists can make real discoveries. Half the fun of this story is in artist Brianne Farley's truly funny bunnies and other forest folk in the throes of the critter version of the dreaded stomach bug, very familiar among primary graders. This is a great book to have on hand when it's time to kick off science fairs, and author Andros earns extra credit for her appended glossary of medical research terms such as "clinical trial" and "specimen."

Andros' and Farley's first collaboration, Charlotte the Scientist Is Squished, (read my review here) makes for a good read for the primary set to encourage girls' participation in the sciences, a good choice for Women's Month read-alouds.

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