By trade I am a teacher and I was fortunate enough to have gone to the American Museum of Natural History yesterday on a field trip. It is one of my favorite museums to visit. While there we spent time visiting the Power of Poison exhibit. This was a wonderful exhibit that showcased natural poisons found in nature and how they can be deadly and helpful all at the same time.
The exhibit also touched on poisons in literature from the Witches of Macbeth to poisons found in Harry Potter. One of the most interesting cases was that of the Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland. I never knew that Mercury was used back in the 1700s to soften animal pelts to make felt for hats, and therefore was causing mercury poisoning in people wearing the hats causing them to go "mad".
But overall the exhibit gave me wonderful ideas to use in my own story. Not the picture books of course but for mysteries, MG, or YA. Nature has a wealth of resources writers can use and it was interesting to learn all about the amazing cases that can lend itself to a wonderful story. If anyone is in NYC I urge you to go visit this great exhibit. It is truly inspiring and miraculous.