on October 7, 2011
Many of the girls at my school love this series, so I will be adding the books from the series that the library doesn't already have. This book provides a light, fun read. There is a slight plot involving a science fair and the introduction of Squish, the amoeba. I did enjoy Babymouse's daydreaming, it reminded me of my own daydreaming tendencies, past and present. Overall, recommended for those who like the series.
on September 24, 2015
My review may be the odd one out among all the rest because I'm an adult who enjoys Babymouse books. Babymouse's adventures are colorful and imaginative; some of the references are a bit dated for a kids' series, but are presented in such a way that they would still be entertaining to young readers while tickling the fancy of adult readers. The series is also rooted in reality and really shows how a slightly awkward younger person (or mouse, I guess) will approach social, home or school situations. You can relate to them, either through memories of your own childhood or with your kids/nieces/nephews/grandchildren. Plus, Babymouse loves cupcakes - a mouse after my own heart!
This particular book also felt like it had a potentially sad undertone. Now, I'm probably reading waaaaay too far into a children's book, but bear with me for a moment and hear me out before deciding that I'm out of my mind. In Babymouse: Mad Scientist, you get to hear a lot from Babymouse's father when she brings up the science fair, and we see/hear more of him than ever before. In fact, I'm not even sure he says much at all in any of the other Babymouse books. Anyway, Mr. Babymouse (he doesn't have a name) tells Babymouse that she should take part in the science fair, and you eventually learn that he had the chance to become a scientist, but never did. This is never explained further, but he becomes quite involved in Babymouse's project: digging out his old microscope and test tubes from the attic, getting Babymouse her own junior microscope (because she broke her dad's), and getting Babymouse a book of easy science fair projects because she's such a klutz (see previous detail about her and the microscope). He pushes for her to do a project involving amoebas and says something about how Babymouse could possibly be the first scientist in the family.
Seems innocent enough, right? What I got out of Babymouse's father's significant involvement is that, for whatever reason, he never achieved his dream of becoming a scientist. Perhaps he wasn't good enough or rich enough to go to college. Maybe his desire to have a family did not mesh well with the life of a scientist and he had to choose his family over his career. Did he even want a family? Could it have been a "look what I could have been if you hadn't been born" matter? Basically, Mr. Babymouse is living vicariously through his child in order to accomplish something he never could. I doubt this was an intentional plot point, but it's still an interesting possible detail.
But, like I said, I could simply be reading between the lines far too much. However, please don't be discouraged from checking this volume out, no matter what age you are. It's still got a cute and fantastic story, the inclusion of green with the traditional hot pink, and the ending actually surprised me a bit, given how Babymouse's scholastic efforts usually turn out (sorry, don't want to spoil it). Plus, a new character is introduced who eventually got his very own book.