Monday, March 27, 2023

Perfect Pairings: Betsy Ellor’s My Dog Is NOT A Scientist

Like wine and cheese, peanut butter and jelly, and milk and cookies some things are great apart but even better together.

This month’s picture book perfect pairing is My Dog is NOT A Scientist by Betsy Ellor, illustrated by Luisa Vera and published by Yeehoo Press.
To be paired with: Smithsonian 10-Minute Science Experiments: 50+ quick, easy, and awesome projects for kids


But first, a little about My Dog is NOT a Scientist:

In this humorous look at the scientific method. Yara is determined to win the science fair despite her neighbor Eddie’s constant comments about her failures. Like every good scientist, Yara starts with a question, makes observations, and comes up with a hypothesis. But each time she starts an experiment, her dog, Renzo, ruins it. Yara is determined to achieve her goal—no matter what her crazy canine throws her way, but the night before the fair all Yara has to show is Renzo damage. That’s when Yara realizes that maybe Renzo is up to something more than making trouble. With a little creative problem-solving, Yara proves that anyone can be a scientist if they follow their curiosity.

The book is a STEAM story, but it is also about resilience in the face of criticism, self-doubt, and setbacks all told with a dose of humor. The back matter will help set up young scientists to follow their own curiosity and a downloadable curriculum guide will support educators and parents who want to build on the SEL and STEAM themes.

Betsy, what makes the Smithsonian 10-Minute Science Experiment the perfect pairing for your book My Dog is NOT a Scientist?

This book of experiments is a great starter book for young scientists. The experiments are short but are certain to get kids’ curiosity pumping. Best of all, the items needed are things that most kids have around the house, so it makes science accessible for everyone. Yara would love this book and Renzo—well, Renzo would probably chew on it, but he’d love it too! 

My goal with this pairing is for kids to know that anyone can be a scientist if they follow their curiosity. Anyone, anywhere can ask questions and seek answers. Messy and imperfect are okay. These projects aren’t overwhelming. They are accessible and it will help children do what Yara does—go out and ask questions! I want kids to use the scientific method as a tool but not be afraid of failure. It’s important to try and fail, and fail, and fail again, because—as Yara learns from Renzo—sometimes it’s through failing that you make the most amazing and unexpected discoveries.

You can purchase My Dog is NOT a Scientist at IndieBound or Amazon or learn more on Betsy's website or at Yeehoo Press


Betsy Ellor lives in a house where curiosity and chaos run wild. She divides her time between seeking out great stories and designing great spaces at Endicott College where others can cultivate their own curiosity. Her previous works include the anthology Heroic Care, and Sara Crewe, a family musical that’s been performed across the U.S. My Dog Is NOT A Scientist comes out April 18 from Yeehoo Press.

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