We received this book in exchange for an honest review.
Review Date: February 18th, 2019
Written By: Karen LeFrak
Illustrated By: David Bucs
Mason couldn’t wait to celebrate his birthday with a sleepover at the museum of natural history—his favorite place to visit.
Armed with headlamps for the dark hallways, a map, and a list of clues, Mason and his two best friends take off on a scavenger hunt through each hall of the museum. But they aren’t just trying to solve the clues. They’re scouting for the best place to spend the night.
Sleeping next to a T. Rex in the Hall of Dinosaurs felt too scary. And sleeping with the monarch butterflies would probably tickle. This decision isn’t as easy as Mason thought it would be….
Wherever they end up, the museum at night is the best place for a birthday adventure!
Madeline and I had a lot of fun reading this book! Before we even started the book, we spent several minutes searching through the map of the museum which is featured on the endpapers. I know she recognizes her numbers, so I asked her to help me find each of the rooms based on the numbers. Once we completed that task, we dove into the actual story.
It felt like taking a tour through the museum ourselves! The clues the kids were given helped to engage us in understanding something about each upcoming room, as well as giving us an opportunity to guess what the answer to the clue was before the characters told us on the next page. Most of these were a little beyond Madeline’s grasp right now, but we identified the elephant clue easily enough, it being something she was familiar with before we began the story.
The amount of information we learned was really well balanced with how much the story progressed, so that each page took us further through Mason’s night, but also taught Madeline a little something (like that dinosaurs were reptiles). Since she is only three, I’m not sure how many of the new words sunk in (I don’t actually know if she knows what a reptile is, for example, so it could be inferred by this story but she will still not have a fully formed grasp of the concept of reptile until she’s a bit older.
Still, the seed has been planted now, so she will likely recognize it when it comes up on school). But I think it’s got a lot of good little vocab and concept builders in here just by virtue of touring through a museum. And I know she did learn, because I tested her after we finished the book, by asking her to go through the map with me again on the backside endpaper, only this time I referenced what we had seen in each room of the museum. She did really good.
This was a fun read, and definitely held her interest. Occasionally I found myself questioning writing choices. They were minor, but enough to take me out of the story a bit. Mainly the character’s reasons for not choosing a specific room. Really not a big deal at all, but I felt like some of the reasons Mason had could have been better. I think we will enjoy re-reading this one, though, especially to challenge Madeline’s memory and learning skills to see how many clues she will be able to answer with each successive reading.
- Tear & Fold Resistance: 7/10
- Font Readability: 8/10
- Kid Engagement: 10/10
- Mommy Engagement: 8/10