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Monday, February 6, 2012

READING is Amazing!

Hi there!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers…the blog site all about the books, all of the time.  Today, we venture back to school minus the “cheese wagon” (aka the school bus…gotta love the color of those things), plus a whole lotta fun….couple that with a myriad of facts to amaze and astound and presto change-o, you have yourself a bookish adventure!  Are you ready to embark on this learning expedition?  Grab your safari hat, put on your trusty hiking boots and grab your magnifying glass….we’re going on an exploration.  Today’s book of choice is…

Danny & Ester’s Fortunate Adventures:
Art by
David Hemenway

Danny and Ester are curious, as most kids are, about anything and everything; from the sky above to the ground below, from leafy green plants to crystallized minerals…but most especially animals.  One day while they were finishing dinner at Lee’s Chinese Palace (which of course means FORTUNE COOKIE TIME!), this friendly duo stumbles upon a mystery...a most fortunate one at that...that seems to be foretelling of a most impossible adventure. “Scientists must take risks.”  “Prepare to get wet.”  “Go.”  With that final “fortune” revealed, that's just what they do….and embark upon an educational adventure beyond their wildest dreams. 

This book totally reminded me of the Magic School Bus series and come to think of it, Danny there on the front cover could totally be related to Ms. Frizzle.  Those were the days.  Saturday/Sunday morning cartoons that were not only entertaining but educational instead of some of the rubbish that airs today.  But let’s get back on the same station here…or rather page…

Author Renee McCuen aims to teach readers young (and old) about the interesting world of ants.  From their social structure to body makeup, the jobs they do and purposes they serve, if you walk away from this one NOT having learned something you’re either not paying attention or a myrmecologist (< - - that’s a scientist who studies ants…yep, just one of the factoids I picked up!).  Seriously!  Now I do admit, I’m not an insect person in any way, shape, or form…and there was a time or two where I was on the verge of saying “gross” or “blech” like any other girly girl (word to the wise…don’t read it while eating) but I curbed my initial reactions knowing that I was learning something about a creature I may not have taken a second glance at before, and as they say knowledge IS power.

Author Renee McCuen

Part of the whimsical aspect of the adventure is how even when the kids turn into ants (apparently the magic phrase is “Ants are so amazing!”) to better explore their world, they still retain parts of themselves both personality wise as well as their physical traits.  That’s right.  You can see their humanity still in the illustrations by looking at their eyes…and their hair.  *giggle*  Sorry, couldn’t help the little laugh, I mean really…Ester’s ant has dark hair with braids and Danny’s has red hair ala Ron Weasley.  It’s cute and funny but it just adds to the overall draw of the story and the ease of making the connection between their human selves and their ant selves.  At books end, we are treated to a mini-quiz (no need for number two pencils) to show you just how much you learned along the way.  Though short and sweet, don’t be surprised if you are tripped up a time or two…there’s a lot of information in this short story! 

Overall, it’s quite the adventure.  It’s length will be appealing to both readers and non, while the story’s content will ignite the scientist in you.  In fact, it might just be the first in a series of science based tales for young (or young at heart) explorers of this great big world….I know I’d like to see more and I think you will to.  To see for yourself, check out the first chapter, available online at the book’s official website.  So the next time you think something is out of this world, remember….it’s not “icky”, it’s “interesting”!  Turn that negative into a positive and you open up a whole new world of learning.

Review copy received courtesy of author Renee McCuen.  (THANKS!)  For more information about the book or to contact the author, check out the official website. 

Until next time…BOOKS are so amazing….and happy reading!


Felicity Grace Terry said...

What a fascinating sounding book. Given the subject matter this would be a fun addition to the nature table at school.

Gina said...

Petty Witter: Definitely! Or even a home collection for the budding explorer... ^_^

Yanting Gueh said...

I'm not wild about insects, too, but I think kids at school will enjoy this book!


Monique said...

Ants aren't my favorite either, but a storybook about them - I can handle, and my girls would love!

Gina said...

Claudine G: Agreed!

Monique: Fantastic! Hope they enjoy it as much as I did... ^_^

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