Archibald Frisby (Reading Rainbow Books)

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9780374404369: Archibald Frisby (Reading Rainbow Books)

Archibald Frisby, mad about science and wise beyond his years, is sent to camp to have fun and ends up broadening the horizons of his fellow campers.

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From Booklist:

Ages 5-9. "Archibald was so smart / and he read such a lot / that he saw things in ways / other people did not." A droll rhyming text and witty, cartoon-style watercolor illustrations tell a gentle story about a red-haired, freckle-faced boy who loves science. Archibald looks at the cat and sees its anatomy. Water to Archibald is a chemical formula. He's taken apart every kitchen appliance ("they gave their lives in the interest of science"). When he's caught reading algebra at recess, his mother has had enough and packs him off to camp to learn about fun. He does have fun and make friends, and he does it not by denying his fascination with science, but by spreading it around. On the camp scavenger hunt, his group comes back with some very old bones and not with pine cones. In time-honored fashion he even hits the winning run in baseball (by plotting the angle of maximum distance). By the time he goes home with bat, ball, and glitzy sunglasses, he's changed, and he's changed the camp forever. The play with puns (Archibald reads Spores Illustrated) and with deadpan exaggeration is funny and affectionate. It humanizes the nerd stereotype and makes the smart kid a friend, both special and ordinary. Hazel Rochman

From School Library Journal:

Grade 1-3-Archibald Frisby is a smart and well-read lad with a unique way of looking at the world. He views his cat in terms of its skeletal structure, he has dismantled every kitchen appliance in the name of science, and he'd rather read Spores Illustrated than participate in sports. His mother, horrified by his obsession with all things scientific, turns off his computer and boots him off to camp. While other kids sit around a fire, Archibald gazes at constellations and turns nature walks into opportunities to contemplate photosynthesis. His eccentricity endears him to the other campers, especially when his grasp of physics helps them to beat the counselors in a game of baseball. The story is clever, but slight. The full-color illustrations combine cartoonlike figures with gimmicky scientific charts and explanations. The concept seems a bit too esoteric for its picture-book format. Some readers might be amused by it, but for a more successful assimilation of science and entertainment, stick with Joanna Cole's "Magic School Bus" series (Scholastic).
Anna DeWind, Milwaukee Public Library
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (1996)
ISBN 10: 0374404364 ISBN 13: 9780374404369
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