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“Charlotte, you are going to make a real difference in this work,” Grandpa. –Charlotte the Scientist Finds a Cure
Charlotte the Scientist Finds a Cure
by Camille Andros
AR Test, Picture Book
4 – 7
A mysterious malady has swept through the forest, making the woodland creatures sick. Luckily, Charlotte the Scientist is on the case! She’s determined to find a cure using science. But the grownups don’t take her work seriously, and examining animals of all shapes and sizes with upset tummies can be, well. . . challenging.
In the second installment of the Charlotte the Scientist Series, Charlotte’s big bunny family gets even larger when Grandpa moves in. Grandpa helps and encourages Charlotte in her scientific endeavors. When the forest animals get sick, Charlotte is determined to discover the cause. When the adults begin examining patients, they tell Charlotte, “Run along, little one. This is grown-up work.” Charlotte is discouraged, but when she thinks back to her grandpa’s words, they give her the courage to continue looking for a cure. In the end, “Charlotte realized she didn’t need to be the oldest or smartest. She had stopped the sickness, cured the carrots, and saved the forest!”
Charlotte the Scientist Finds a Cure moves away from Charlotte’s family life and shows how Charlotte makes a difference in her community. The story’s illustrations bring the forest to life by using bright colors. Charlotte’s large family and a host of forest animals crowd the scenes, which brim with activity. However, Charlotte is easy to recognize because she always has a white lab coat. Even though the story focuses on a serious topic, many of the illustrations are humorous.
The forest animals’ illnesses help incorporate the scientific method and introduce scientific vocabulary. In addition, to discover the cause of the sickness Charlotte collects and analyzes data. This is how she finds the “funky forest fungi” that is making everyone sick. Charlotte also cures the carrots, conducts a clinical trial, and is able to “mend the malady.” While it’s unrealistic that one scientist could accomplish all of that, Charlotte’s activities allow her to be the story’s hero.
Even though Charlotte the Scientist Finds a Cure is a picture book, readers will need an adult to read the story to them. The story is packed full of alliteration that makes reading aloud fun. Each page has 1 to 4 sentences, but younger readers may have difficultly understanding some of the scientific vocabulary. In the back of the book, readers will find a glossary of scientific words. While the solution to the forest animals’ “malady” is complex, it gives the story many topics that parents or teachers could discuss.
Charlotte the Scientist Finds a Cure uses humor and a determined bunny to teach readers about illnesses and the process that takes place to find a cure. While the plot is ambitious, young readers will be enthralled with Charlotte and her world. Charlotte the Scientist Finds a Cure would be an excellent addition to your library, whether you’re looking for a fun book to read to your children or you want a book that is a springboard to teaching about illness.
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