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The Children's Bookshelf: Nerdycorn 6-28

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This is the Children’s Bookshelf and I’m Sue Ann Martin

NERDYCORN written by Andrew Root and illustrated by Erin Kraan is a picture book frolic with a group of unicorns-----five playful, dancing unicorns and one unicorn devoted to science. Nerdycorn doesn’t have time for songs and sparkles. Nerdycorn, whose real name is Fern, wants to conduct experiments and learn about things such as how to bake gravity cupcakes, code software and build robots.

When the book starts the reader sees Fern happily in her laboratory surrounded by books, flasks and quadratic equations. The others, who often tease her because she is different, are getting ready for a Sparkle Dance Party. But problems soon emerge when the confetti machine becomes clogged, the rainbow synthesizer runs out of twinkle power and the starlight bedazzler stops working!

Although Fern, who had always been a good friend to the five unicorns recently vowed never to help them again because they had been so mean to her. On second thought, however, she decides to help them by   fixing everything with her multimeter, arc welder and some dental floss. And, indeed, she saves the “big dance” and only then do the other unicorns understand being different is just fine.

The illustrations, carved and printed in wood, are playful, colorful and full of delightful details! Be sure to check out the portrait of Einstein as a member of the Nerdycorn family of scientists.

NERDYCORN written by Andrew Root and illustrated by Erin Kraan is a perfect story celebrating difference for children 3-8 years of age (Beach Lane Books/ Simon and Schuster, 2021).

The Children’s Bookshelf is a production of WCMU. Links to the podcast and the Activity questions can be found at Children’s Bookshelf dot org.

Activity Questions for NERDYCORN

Why and how do the five unicorns make fun of Fern? Why does Fern decide to help them when the machines they need for their Dance Party break down? Is Fern a good friend? Why?

Fern enjoys reading science books, doing experiments and making robots. Look at the robot that she designed which appears throughout the book. If you were to design your very own robot what would it look like? Use your imagination and draw a picture of your robot -----then give it a name.

The illustrations in this book are full of many funny and colorful details. Younger children might enjoy finding the following details: a red toolbox, a yellow computer, a blue waterfall, a painting of a rainbow, a painting of a scientific graph, a duck, a broken bike, an arc welder, dental floss, two unicorns playing horn polo and floating ice cream cones.