An alphabetical walk through the exhibits in a school science fair is the backdrop to one killer zucchini’s vendetta.
A young student’s zucchini project has eyes for the science fair judge…until a careless remark turns the vegetable from thoughts of love to thoughts of revenge. All this plays out among the remainder of the science projects, until the judge redeems himself. Less a story than an un-paneled comic that is a series of quips, this book takes some attention to detail to follow, and the humor is likely too mature for even the oldest typical picture-book readers. Under the Cloning project sign, two identical kids argue about who is the real one, and for the Hybrid project, a child remarks that “Mrs. Punny likes you, Mr. Farnsworth.” The project is a combination rabbit and parrot. Quantum Mechanics depicts a cardboard box labeled “Tool Box.” Inside are two Einstein look-alikes holding a wrench and a screwdriver: “They fix stuff before it breaks.” Backmatter gives a tongue-in-cheek though educational paragraph of information about each of the projects and the science behind it—all have some basis in reality. Clark’s bright and busy illustrations portray a nice mix of genders and races.
All in all, more fun for the science-fair judges than the participants. (Picture book. 8-12)