Mr Archimedes’ Bath – Pamela Allen

POINTS: 3 out of 10.

Bechdel: 0 points
Variety of characters: 0 points
Good story: 2 points
Discretionary ideological points: 1 point.

There is only one human character in this book, and that’s Mr Archimedes himself.His three animal friends are not gendered at all in the book, so I can’t pass it for the Bechdel. Nor can I pass it for variety/diversity.

The book is basically a kids’ explanation of the Archimedes/eureka/water displacement thing. It involves Mr Archimedes and his friends discovering that getting in the bath makes the water overflow, and then conducting various experiments where they each take turns to be the one who stays out in order to find out “who is doing this”.

Eventually, of course, they work out that the answer is all of them, and proceed to continue with their bath. It’s a neat book on two levels, for me: firstly, there’s the obvious explaining a scientific concept to small children using story, but secondly there’s also the experimental/scientific method aspect of it. I mean, it’s oversimplified, of course, but they try multiple variations before reaching a conclusion, and that kind of “let’s test it!” approach is one I think it is beneficial to expose kids to.

C of course looked at me like I was crazy when I asked him where he thought the water was coming from: “It’s because they’re getting in, Mom. That makes it splash out.” My little Archimedes. 😉

Quite why Archimedes is hanging out with Australian animals, I am not sure, but hey, it may be a scientific story, but it’s still a kids’ book. Fun stuff.

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