Written and illustrated by Nancy Poydar
Published by Holiday House, 2011
Themes: science projects, competition, birds, perseverance, school
Mr Zee’s class was having a science fair. Otis had tried lots of project ideas.
“Remember the judges will be here next Friday,” chirped Mr Zee.
“Next Friday!” Otis gulped.
Mr Zee’s class is having a science fair. Otis’ classmates are all working on their projects, while he still hasn’t come up with an idea. Otis becomes more and more disheartened until finally he gets an idea (with a little help from Mr Zee!) He brings a smelly, used milk carton and birdseed to school, and makes a bird feeder, which he hangs in the classroom yard. For three days he watches and documents the LACK of birds at his feeder, to the teasing of his classmates. When the science-fair judges visit the class, he shows them his project, explains that he is still waiting for birds to come and feed. He is as surprised as his classmates with the judges choice for the Stick-With-It prize!
Why I like this book:
Many children struggle at school, like Otis, with choosing a topic for many subjects. And many children will relate to school work not turning out as planned. This story affirms both the importance of perseverance in science and life, and the value of detailed observations. The dialogues between classmates, and between students and the teacher, are very authentic. The brightly colored, gouache illustrations show classroom scenes of kids very focused on their projects, and cool details make for some very familiar classroom scenes. I, of course also like the fact that Otis chooses a project related to nature!
The final page offers a list of science project ideas and on which pages to find them. A great book for sharing with students, both as a selection for science fair ideas and for skills such as observation, kindness, appreciating differences and perseverance.
Find out more about the author/illustrator on her website: http://www.nancypoydar.com/
Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book. To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Books.