Pirate, Viking & Scientist

Jared Chapman. Little, Brown, $17 (40p) ISBN 978-0-316-25389-5
Scientist, a boy in a white lab coat and big blue spectacles, has a problem that many kids face: his two best friends, Pirate and Viking (full-grown adults who are exactly what their names suggest), can’t stand each other. Faced with the prospect of his birthday party turning into an extended brawl, Scientist tests out various hypotheses as to what could unite Pirate and Viking (“Maybe PARTY GAMES could help turn these foes into friends!”). He finally hits on what his friends have in common—boats, sleeping with a sword under their pillows, and “pillaging and plundering!”—but there are plenty of party fouls and pratfalls before he gets there. Audiences still too young for the Friendship Algorithm Sheldon Cooper popularized on The Big Bang Theory should find Chapman’s debut just the STEM-themed ticket. With boisterous drawings that would be right at home in an old Jay Ward cartoon (Scientist is basically one part Mr. Peabody, one part Sherman) and a preface providing key terms in the scientific method, it’s great inspiration for classroom science units or at-home Venn-diagramming. Ages 3–6. Agent: Rebecca Sherman, Writers House. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/06/2014
Release date: 11/11/2014
Genre: Children's
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