Sunday, March 6, 2011

Mother and Daughter Book Review: The Secret Science Alliance and the Copy Cat Crook.

Note:  This is our second Mother/Daughter book review, and we are still trying to get the podcast up!  So please enjoy another week of the transcript! 

Me:  Hi Everybody, This is Merideth

Mari:  And this is Mari

Me: And we are going to do our second Mother Daughter Book Review.  This week we’re going to review The Secret Science Alliance and the Copy Cat Crook by Eleanor Davis.  
Mari, how would you describe this book to somebody in just a few sentences if you wanted to get them to read it?

Mari:  Fun, but cluttered artwork.

Me:  I would say it’s a fun, but a little predictable story, with bright colored, but slightly cluttered art.  I agree with you about that.

Mari: It’s about a boy named Julian, who was a nerd at his old school, but he and his parents have to move.  He decides he won’t be a nerd at his new school, but he can’t help it.  Then at school there’s this “crazy” girl named Greta and a “dumb” jock named Ben, and it turns out that they’re both science geeks.   And there’s this scientist named Dr. Stringer, who in my experience, is kind of stuck up, and in the end he plays a very important part.

Me: So, they’re all three science geeks and they don’t want anybody to know it?

Mari:  Well, not a lot of people know, except Greta’s dad, who’s a museum owner (important!).  They don’t want their parents getting in their way! 

Me:  So they form a secret society of scientists, huh?  That’s pretty cool.  What did you really like about this book?

Mari:  They were nerds.

Me:  You liked the fact that they were nerdy?

Mari:  (Sings) “White and nerdy!”

Me:  But they’re not all white are they?  Greta’s an African-American girl and Ben looks like he might be Hispanic?

Mari:  I was singing a Weird Al song (sings) “White and Nerdy!  Look at me I’m white and nerdy!”

Me: Oh.  So you liked the fact that the characters were geeky?

Mari:  Geeks rule! 

Me: Anything else you like?

Mari:  (sigh) The way she draws, but not how she placed it.  I like how the characters didn’t look real, but also they weren’t stick figures without mouths or noses.   But, I thought there was too much stuff on the pages, and it looked cluttered.

Me:  So you thought the characters were not too realistic but not too cartoony either?

Mari:  Yes. 

: Anything else you liked about the story?

Mari:  I liked that it was an adventure!  The kids got to do cool things! 

Me:  I liked Greta!  I liked that she was spunky and smart.

Mari: I Liked her too.  I liked her helmet, and that she wasn’t a super girly girl.  Because I’m not always a girly girl (sings) “pink and princess, rainbows and carousels, la la la la la”

Me:  And I felt really sorry for Ben, because he thinks he’s stupid but he’s not.

Mari:  I know!  He just isn’t good at tests.  I think teachers should come up with a different way to find kids’ scores, not just tests.  Because some people get really nervous during tests.  Maybe they could just nonchalantly ask some questions in a conversation, instead of watching you like a sparrow! 

Me:   So, you mentioned that you didn’t like how cluttered some of the artwork was. I would agree with you, I think that some of what librarians like me would call the panel layout was off.  You know, the way the artwork was arranged on the page, there was too much going on, and you didn’t know where to look.

Mari: I would have to agree.

Me:  I also noticed that in some places it’s a very wordy comic.  There’s lots of text.   Lots and lots and lots of words.

Mari:  Yeah, in some places there’s more bubbles than art.

Me: And as much as I like the story, it didn’t really surprise me.

Mari:  Yeah, it was kind of predictable.

Me:  Now I would say this would be a really good book for school age kids.  Kids in 2nd grade up through 6th.  Who would you give it to?

Mari:  Hmmmmmm… ages 8-12 I think.  Not middle school or high school. 

Me:  Well, thank you for reviewing another book with me, maybe next week we’ll review something you pick.

Mari: (evil laugh) Ooooo!  I’ll pick something you won’t like!   

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