Charlotte the Scientist Finds a Cure
“a lot of fun, enlivened by Farley’s artwork. Charlotte is a bunny scientist you’ll find yourself cheering for!”
In Andros’s second book about Charlotte the Scientist—a determined young bunny in a lab coat—the author introduces a new character, Charlotte’s grandpa. He has recently retired from medicine and moved in with Charlotte’s family, and he is very encouraging about Charlotte’s scientific research.
When he becomes sick, along with many other forest animals, Charlotte conducts research, applying medical science to the problem. The illustrations add humor as Charlotte collects a medical history from a deer, gives a bear a physical exam, and gathers specimens—she is shown sitting beside an outhouse with a collection of little bags and jars as animals line up to donate.
Like a real scientist, at first Charlotte can’t find the answer. She imposes a quarantine, but the birds won’t stay put and skunks add a certain something to the clinic. (In the gleeful illustrations, birds swoop overhead as a little girl bunny jumps on her bed, another bunny talks to two mice in tiny beds, and the bear overflows his much bigger bed.) A team of grown-up doctors ignores Charlotte, but she overcomes her self-doubt and continues working to make a difference. After further studying the data, Charlotte finds a pattern that leads her to a cure.
In a world where girls tend not to pursue math and science, Charlotte is a welcome bunny. Of course, boys and girls alike will take an interest in finding out how a doctor—and a medical researcher—problem solves, especially when dealing with a public health crisis.
The author provides a glossary at the end of the book, defining terms such as “contaminate” and “hypothesis.” In addition, she includes an invitation to children to write to Charlotte and explain how they are making a difference, whether by using the tools of science or in other ways.
The Charlotte books clearly have an agenda, but it’s a good one, and they are also a lot of fun, enlivened by Farley’s artwork. Charlotte is a bunny scientist you’ll find yourself cheering for!