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The Secret Science Project That Almost Ate the School

The Secret Science Project That Almost Ate the School

5.0 2
by Judy Sierra, Stephen Gammell (Illustrator)

Students, heed this little rhyme:
When it's science project time,
Do not make goop,
or glop,
or grime,
And never mess with
mutant slime


Students, heed this little rhyme:
When it's science project time,
Do not make goop,
or glop,
or grime,
And never mess with
mutant slime

Editorial Reviews

Stymied, a young girl resorts to a mail-order project for her school's science fair. Not smart, she realizes when the project, Professor Swami's Super Slime -- an ever-morphing, rainbow-hued mass of ooze-starts consuming her father, sister, teachers, and others who cross its ravenous path: "The slime began to spin around. It rose into the air,/And when it roared, and hit the floor, my sister wasn't there." Splotchy, drippy, over-the-top paintings extract every bit of humor from this sticky situation, as do Sierra's impeccably crafted witty rhymes. (Ages 6 to 8)
Child magazine's Best Children's Book Awards 2006
Publishers Weekly
Caldecott medalist Gammell (Song and Dance Man) provides a humorous and hyperbolic visual interpretation of Sierra's (Wild About Books) silly, spirited story. The bespectacled, wild-haired young narrator is grouchy because she has yet to find a third-grade science fair project, while her classmates are sitting pretty: "The ants on Mary's ant farm were growing corn and peas,/ And Kevin Fink was on the brink of curing a disease." But eureka! Over the Internet, she purchases a project "guaranteed to win first prize," Professor Swami's Super Slime, billed as "a mutant yeast with just a piece of dragon DNA." When the package arrives, she disregards its warning to keep the slime inside the box until the fair. After she opens the lid and gives the slime "a teeny-tiny poke" (like the star of Plantzilla), the goo begins to grow (and growl and emit smoke). Gammell's signature spattery artwork is ideally suited to chronicle the slime's expanding girth as it devours the girl's cat, sister, father, teacher and classmates. Finally, she remembers the rest of the instructions: feed the slime sugar "till it swells 1,000 times in mass./ Stand back as it erupts/ Into a harmless cloud of gas." The resulting explosion catapults the slime's ingested victims to tree branches and rooftops. Gammell's illustrations amplify the energy and fun of Sierra's bouncy verse. Ages 6-9. (Oct.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3-A nameless girl needs an idea for her science project. Her solution is to go on the Internet, where she comes across "Professor Swami's Super Slime"-a "mutant yeast with just a piece of dragon DNA." Of course, she orders it and doesn't follow the directions on the box: do not open until the science fair, then feed the slime sugar until it expands to 1000 times its size and watch it explode into a "harmless cloud of gas." The child finds herself with a large, green, slimy glob that begins to grow and swallow those who are rude to it: her cat, which hisses; her dad, who complains of a smell; her third-grade teacher-"Eeew! What is that big, digusting creature?"-and so on. Finally the child remembers the sugar and, once kids have pelted the goo with sweets and sprayed it with soda, it explodes. "My project didn't win first prize, and that was fair...I guess..../Miss Fidget kept me after school to clean up all the mess." The watercolor, colored pencil, and pastel illustrations are typical Gammell-the girl bears a striking resemblance to the boy in Liz Rosenberg's Monster Mama (Philomel, 1993; o.p.), round glasses and all; she's just perfect for this slightly wild story. This book could be used as a jumping-off point for science projects-a little levity always helps during the science-experiment season.-Susan Lissim, Dwight School, New York City Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Sierra spins an impeccably rhymed yarn about a last minute science-fair experiment gone fabulously amok. As a bespectacled girl narrates, her classmates' projects go swimmingly while she's blocked: "The ants on Mary's ant farm were growing corn and peas, / And Kevin Fink was on the brink of curing a disease." Surfing the Internet, she sends for "Professor Swami's Super Slime," ("A mutant yeast with just a piece of dragon DNA,") that arrives in an oozing carton plastered with warnings. Naturally, the stuff morphs. Sensitized to the slightest rebuff, it swallows the hissing Sir Scratchalot, kid sister Kate and Dad before chasing the narrator to school. It ingests Miss Fidget and several third-graders before the budding scientist remembers a crucial detail: fed sugar, the slime will swell amazingly, then erupt into a harmless gas. The kids lob a barrage of treats into the gaping maw, with-apparently-the guaranteed results. Gammell's pictures perfectly capture the antics, exploiting runny watercolor and highly rendered colored pencil to depict the outrageous mutations. Explosively funny. (Picture book. 5-8)

Product Details

Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
11.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.40(d)
690L (what's this?)
Age Range:
6 - 9 Years

Meet the Author

Judy Sierra is the author of many award-winning books for children including the bestsellers Antarctic Antics, illustrated by Jose Aruego and Ariane Dewey; Wild About Books, illustrated by Marc Brown; and The Secret Science Project that Almost Ate the School, illustrated by Stephen Gammell. Sierra holds a PhD in folklore and mythology from the University of California, Los Angeles. She has received the Children’s Choice Award from the International Reading Association, two Aesop awards from the American Folklore Society, and the E.B. White Read Aloud Prize from the Association of Booksellers for Children. She lives with her husband in Eugene, Oregon. Visit her online at JudySierra.net.

Stephen Gammell is the beloved illustrator of more than fifty books for children, including Song and Dance Man by Karen Ackerman, which received the Caldecott Medal, and two Caldecott Honor Books: The Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant, Where the Buffaloes Begin by Olaf Baker, and The Secret Science Project That Almost Ate Our School by Judy Sierra. Mr. Gammell lives with his wife, Linda, in St. Paul, Minnesota.

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The Secret Science Project That Almost Ate the School 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I heard the story read on NPR's radio show and it brought a gigantic smile to my face. As a mother of 4, I've read many children's books and gone through many science projects, plus I have an 8 year old boy. This story is just delightful. It has every element of great written entertainment for children, the subject matter grabs you right away, the cadence and rhymes are so well done that you look forward to the next line, and when the next line comes, you're not disappointed. In fact, by the end of the story you're awed by how clever the author is. This is a book every teacher in grades 2 & 3 should have in their classroom. Serious fun!