This book is perfect mix of science and slapstick! The title caught me right off and the story did not disappoint. In fact, it delighted!
What Floats in a Moat?
Written by Lynne Berry
Illustrated by Matthew Cordell
Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers 2013
Age range: 5 – 8 Years
Themes: Science, Determination
Synopsis: Archie the Goat and Skinny the Hen have a delivery for the castle. But when they come to a moat, Archie is stumped. Skinny suggests the drawbridge, but Archie suggests Science! With fun text and illustrations, Archie and Skinny reenact the Archimedes Principal in order to successfully cross the moat.
Opening: Archie the Goat stopped short at a moat. He measured and mapped. He doodled and drew. He sketched and scribbled and scrawled.
“Aha! To cross the moat,” pronounced the goat, “we build a contraption to float!”
“Or,” said Skinny the Hen, “we could just take the drawbridge.”
“Bah,” said Archie,” drawbridge, straw-bridge.”
“This is no time for a drawbridge. This is a time for science!”
“Right!” said the hen. “Science!”
(Want a little more? Click on the cover above to see a few pages.)
An author’s note at the back of the book explains Archimedes’ Principle.
At the How Stuff Works website, I found a helpful page HERE on How Sailboats Float. There is an interactive activity on buoyancy.
Click HERE for some experiments and HERE for more.
Why I Like This Book: This book is full of humor and fun word play. There are sprinkles of rhyme throughout that added personality. Goat, moat, float…see? Fun! I feel like Berry nailed the characters. Archie, ever the science buff, simply ignores the obvious drawbridge and Skinny, the skeptical side-kick, goes along with Archie’s antics. Even though it’s silliness to ignore the easy solution, the characters were believable and endearing. I, also, like the fact that this can be easily used in the classroom for spicing up a science lesson. Of course, it’s no surprise that Cordell’s illustrations add that “extra special” to the text. He never disappoints in my opinion.
To find more perfect picture books, head on over to Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog and check out all the fantastic selections! Each book is reviewed by a picture book -lovin’ reviewer, AND includes activities to go along with the book. You will find a handy list right HERE.