Poydar, Nancy. No Fair Science Fair.
Holiday House 2011 32p 14.95
978-0-8234-2269-2 Realistic Fiction VG-BNe
“As the judging of his class's science fair approaches, Otis has trouble even thinking of an idea but once he has built a bird feeder he is determined to make some good observations, no matter how long it takes.” Beautifully illustrated in gouache-and pencil, elementary students will be able to relate to Otis and his classmates as they begin to choose interesting projects for their science fair. While nearly everybody picks their science fair projects easily, Otis needs a little assistance to find the right project for him. With the help of his teacher, Mr. Zee, Otis settles on making a bird feeder for his project out of an empty milk carton. After Otis constructs, paints, and hangs the feeder outside of his classroom window, he watches for birds. Otis knows that part of a great science fair project includes observations. But since he didn’t observe any birds on his feeder, he begins to wonder if he will ever see any. When the science fair judges arrive at his classroom, they award him the “Stick-With-It-Prize.” Otis’s determination and persistence paid off when he and his classmates observe a variety of birds at his feeder.
The author uses appealing, easy-to-read text and beautiful graphics. Instead of an index, which is usually not found in easy chapter books anyway, the author includes a list of all student projects giving the pages where they appear in the story. The title would be great for introducing students to science fair projects and for demonstrating that both persistence and determination are key elements to one’s learning.
Would make a great addition to an elementary school library’s collection. Forba-Mayer, Charleen