Mayer, Mercer. My Trip to the Science Museum. New York: Harper Festival, 2017.
Happy Sumer! Here in Texas we are in our triple digit weather. At this time of year, we spend lots of time indoors in the air conditioning, because it is just too “gol dern” hot to do anything outside. When we do venture out of the house or office, we look for other cool venues like movies or museums. When we send out children to summer camp, we check the schedule to make certain that they will be spending the hottest part of the day inside. It is just too darn hot!
This summer my daughter is working a science camp. After looking at her camp’s schedule, I see they employ this strategy. They work inside in the cool and spend small amounts of time outside conducting experiments (like water rockets) that can’t be done safely inside.
All this discussion brings me to my book for today. Written and illustrated by one of my favorites, it is a Little Critter story. They always make me smile. If you have ever been to summer camp or have sent your children to one, you might remember that once or twice you went some place special. Around here you might get to go to Natural Bridge Caverns, or the Bob Bullock Museum, or the Doctor Pepper Museum, or the Thinkery. These are all terrific places that make a good day outing in our area. While I think this book is about a school field trip, I think it would also make a great summer camp outing so I am working it in here.
I admit that I bought this book for myself. I haven’t read it with a young friend or with my own daughters or with a class. I have shared it with my husband and he chuckled along with me. What drew me to the book? It was the curiously familiar illustration of Dr. DaBison. Yes, it was Neil deGrasse Tyson in illustrated, animal form. That wonderful, science and knowledge advocate was in a Little Critter book! The dedication sealed the deal for me: “Dedicated to Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson. Thanks for making the universe so much fun!” As I admire both men (Mayer & Tyson), it was mandatory to add this book to my collection.
Little Critter’s class and his teacher, Miss Kitty, take a field trip to the science museum. They get to check out all the cool experiments. It was cool to see Miss Kitty’s hair stand up all over when she touched the plasma globe. Little Critter enjoyed exploring the tornado machine. With Dr. DaBison’s help they explore even more cool science experiments. They end their day in the planetarium where Dr. DaBison shows them the wonders of the universe. As Miss Kitty is rounding up her class to board the bus, Dr. DaBison poses this question to the class, “What do you want to be when you grow up”. Little Critter’s response is the perfect end to the book. “When I grow up I want to be you, Dr. DaBison. You have the best toys in the universe!”
My sentiments exactly! Pick up this book, read it, and take yourself and some children, if you are so inclined, to the nearest science museum. Stay cool, think hard, wonder, and have a great time!
Museums for Science in Central Texas
- Austin Nature and Science Museum – Austin
- DoSeum – San Antonio
- Mayborn Science Museum – Killeen
- McKenna Children’s Museum – New Braunfels
- Science Mill – Johnson City
- Texas Museum of Science and Technology – Cedar Park
- Thinkery – Austin