Title: Archibald Frisby


Michael Chesworth


Farrar, Straus and Giroux. (1994)



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.


Grades 1-3


Picture book; 32 pages


From Publishers Weekly
Slyly seasoning his playful watercolors with such technical tidbits as a blueprint for a kite and a diagram explaining photosynthesis, Chesworth ( Rainy Day Dreams ) teasingly teaches the reader that science is not just a subject for the classroom, but a part of everyday life. His freckle-faced title character, much to his mother's dismay, is obsessed with all things scientific. In an attempt to prevent him from dissecting all her flowers and taking apart any more household appliances, Frisby's mother deposits her son at Camp Woopeekooshun. "Forget science awhile," she pleads, "have a good time instead." The illustrations tell the story: as the other kids swap tales around the campfire, Archibald Frisby, gazing skyward, ponders a wildly exaggerated procession of planets; during a baseball game, our hero visualizes the ballfield as a geometric plane and plots "the angle of maximum distance." Somewhat unfortunately, Chesworth relays Archibald's escapades in rhyme, often twisting the narrative into coy, ungainly sequences ("So she turned off the Mac, / and she booted him out, / to a camp where he'd find / what fun was about"). But even if the formula isn't foolproof, this venturesome volume registers its points cleverly and with brio. Ages 4-8.

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Posted by Millie Harrison
Great book!