11 Experiments That Failed by Jenny Offill & Nancy Carpenter is another whimsical book to add to your collection! I picked it up at The Tattered Cover on Friday night. What a fun book! Like 17 Things I'm Not Allowed to Do Anymore, it is just a joy to read. I know, I know... the main character is a bit naughty. But her curiosity, innocence, and sincerity far outweigh the little things that make you cringe a bit when you read about some of her unconventional interactions with others. And, the beaver is back! The illustrations are absolutely amazing and make me smile!
I love the question/hypothesis format of the text. Based on a series of "experiments," with questions like Would gerbils like a bigger wheels? Can a live beaver be ordered through the mail? Is there a way to make stinky cheese smell better? the character explores unique ways to answer her questions. My favorite? When she sprinkles the dog with glitter... no, when she tests the aerodynamics of bologna in the lunchroom... no, when she washes dishes in the washing machine! Throughout this book, I found myself laughing out loud.
I found this book just in time for our study of How do wise readers use asking questions to enhance understanding? Jenny Offill writes with incredible insight and coupled with Nancy Carpenter's illustrations, this book is a great one to add to your shelf. I can't wait to share it with my students (Of course, my 7th grader took it off my pile while I was blogging and my wife read it aloud to her while cuddling on the sofa... which could be the cutest thing ever... I love that my 7th grader daughter still loves reading my new picture books).