Saturday, June 10, 2017

Summer Reading 2017 Goodnight, Lab: A Scientific Parody


Chris Ferrie, author of the Baby University series, now takes on a classic. Goodnight Moon gets an update with a scientific twist. A young female scientist is in the lab surrounded by items like a thermometer, a laser, and a portrait of Einstein. Slowly, more items are named and then as we reach the halfway point of the book, we begin to tell all the objects "goodnight." Like the original, the setting has green walls and a red floor, but there are no bears or chairs, n mittens or kittens. Instead of a lady whispering "hush," we have a grumpy old professor shouting "publish." The book follows the pattern of Goodnight Moon in its wording. It also limits the objects to what would be found in a lab, just as the original included objects from a child's bedroom or nursery. That is why we see things like tanks of liquid nitrogen or lab coats in the illustrations.

With the current awareness of the need for more diverse characters in books, having a young African American female as the protagonist is a welcome sight. From the perspective of STEM teachers, it is also great to see someone from such underrepresented groups happily working in a science lab. No attention is drawn to the gender or racial/ethnic background of the character, but the visual representation in that setting speaks loud and clear to those of us looking for such things.

I read an e-book provided by the publisher through edelweiss.

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