Have you ever felt book envy? You read a great story, or even just a great opening line, and wish you’d written it?
I wouldn’t really call it envy when I feel this way, because that implies resenting the actual author, when what I feel is more admiration with a touch of kicking myself for not thinking of an idea. That’s how I felt when I read “Charlotte the Scientist Is Squished” by Camille Andros last weekend. (See review below.) It’s a fictional picture book about a young rabbit scientist, and the plot is driven by the steps in the scientific method. To me, this structure is simple and brilliant. That’s where the “Why didn’t I think of that!” comes in.
If you’ve ever felt this way, take heart from this quote from author Ann Whitford Paul:
I used to feel upset that I couldn’t write something that somebody else wrote, and none of us can. We can only write the stories that matter to us.
Paul’s words come from a webinar she gave to Julie Hedlund’s 12 x 12 Picture Book Challenge last month. As for how to find your voice and the stories that matter to you? Her solution was simple:
Easy peasy, right? 😉
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
As a budding scientist, Charlotte needs space to conduct experiments. But when you’re a bunny with dozens of siblings, space is a limited resource. Charlotte uses the scientific method to tackle this problem and finds that her initial solutions may have additional effects that aren’t ideal.
I love Camille Andros’ use of the scientific method as a framing device for a story that any introvert or child from a large family can relate to. Brianne Farley’s illustrations are bright and inviting. Hopefully we’ll see more of Charlotte in the future!
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