Animals explore a nature museum in Davis’ picture book.
A raccoon named Rodney and his pals visit the Dome-A-Roma, a science museum, where Professor Batfish—a creature with a human body and a head that’s a fish in a fishbowl—gives them a mission each day. Today, he tells them, “A special package is coming, and I’d really like to see if you can guess what it is before the clock strikes three.” The group explores the different sections of the museum, including the Woodland Dome, and an underwater tunnel called the Aqua Dome. The group eventually compiles their clues, determining that the surprise is “A bird, black and white, that lives in cold weather!” Overall, the story’s concept accessibly introduces puzzle-solving skills. For example, Batfish communicates to the group via tablets, offering hints, such as that the surprise is “black and white.” Rodney spots a black-and-white whale and wonders whether the surprise is “big or small.” Later, the author encouragingly says that if a reader asks “questions and collect[s] all the clues…you would have guessed it’s a penguin too!” Debut artist Li’s cartoonish illustrations of animals and nature habitats are amusing and clarify the text, indicating, for instance, when characters are reading Professor Batfish’s words off of a tablet.
An interactive and educational story.