Dolly's Reviews > 11 Experiments That Failed

11 Experiments That Failed by Jenny Offill
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's review
May 22, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: 2012, childrens, education-school, humor, pets, science, poetry-song-music, gardens-flowers
Recommended for: parents reading with their children
Read on May 20, 2012 , read count: 1

This is a hilarious book about a very curious and imaginative girl who conducts a series of experiments to answer her questions. My husband has often encouraged our girls to answer a question by posing a hypothesis, conducting an experiment, and observing the results. He encourages this empirical exploration in order for our girls to discover the truth for themselves, rather than just being told.

The questions and experiments that the little girl comes up with are quite creative and certainly evoke a child's sense of wonder. The results usually involve the little girl getting into trouble, although she isn't necessarily being outright naughty; she just pushes the bounds of good choices and common sense beyond what her mom considers reasonable. And pushing boundaries are what growing up is all about, right?

The illustrations in this book are fun and whimsical. We loved the detailed diagrams on the end pages. In the beginning, the little girl has devised a Rube Goldberg-kind of machine to deliver a slice of bologna to her plate. In the back of the book, we see the results of that machine's actions. Too funny! And we loved the little girl's sense of femininity, with her skirt and pink safety glasses (that look suspiciously like ski goggles.)

Overall, we really enjoyed reading this book together. We immediately recognized the little girl from the book, 17 Things I'm Not Allowed to Do Anymore, and our girls were really excited to read this book to discover what she got into this time. Once again, we discussed her poor choices in this book and I cautioned our girls not to emulate her (please!) But I do have to give her kudos for her spunk, inventive spirit and thirst for knowledge. We will certainly look for more collaborations by this author/illustrator team!
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