What Floats in a Moat?-Perfect Picture Book Friday

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

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.

OpeningArchie 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.

33 thoughts on “What Floats in a Moat?-Perfect Picture Book Friday

  1. Well, I need to keep my library account on another screen this week! Another great pick. I’m interested to read the sprinkling of rhyme too. Always love a little humor.


  2. A goat and a hen! What a great combination. And of course the goat is the thinking one. They’re always thinking. Usually about trouble. This looks like a fun book. And a useful one for the classroom! I’ll be checking it out for sure. Thanks!


  3. Penny, I always anticipate a fun pick from you and you never disappoint! I love kids’ science books – And I can’t wait to read this one. And correct me if I’m wrong – you and I will have front row seats at the “Mr. Peabody and Sherman” movie that’s coming out. 😉


  4. Science+wordplay? I’m in! Thank you for sharing this, Penny. I haven’t seen this and it looks like mentor text material for sure.


  5. Great resource links!
    I love the rhymes mixed into the sentences. Fun to read aloud.
    Cordell is genius.


  6. This sounds VERY entertaining, Penny! I love their names – Archie (for Archimedes I assume) and Skinny the Hen! 🙂 And I love the idea that “This is a time for science!” Definitely have to check this one out!


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