Would you like an adventure on another planet? This is just one of the questions Lara and her sister, Eva, must answer one sunny day in their garden. They wonder how will they return to Earth in time for lunch? And how will they get there when the aliens’ spaceship is so small? When it’s only big enough for ants!But their help is needed on the planet Zeegrazzalo-Jeewoppza so off they go – into the unknown. Their feelings of helplessness only start to fade after a flight across the planet's Outerlands, in Kweezy Capolza's hummingcraft. Maybe, just maybe, the sisters can find some solutions to the aliens' problems. However, they think they might need their mother's help and she is back on Earth!
Ants in Space is a pleasant illustrated science-fiction book for children 8-12-year-olds, which entertains and yet at the same time informs about serious environmental problems. The light and clear tone mean it can also be happily enjoyed by adults reading to children.
When Lara and Eva first try to have a conversation with alien ant Kweezy Capolza, they have no idea that they might find themselves transported away from their Mum on a trip to learn about taking care of the environment and all living creatures. They will learn that even doing small things can contribute to helping, like finding non-stick pots.
I was convinced children would understand the message, much as I did. I liked how Kweezy took things literally, like the girls' names when they weren't saying their names, and when the girls say "Two suns, how cool is that?". Taking things literally is sometimes a common trait of aliens visiting earthlings, and ironically those on the autistic spectrum. It could be to do with difficulties in language processing, so this does make sense.
There are some neat ideas in Ants in Space, some of which can easily reference to current technology such as similar mini mobile-phone devices. There were some new ideas as well as shrinking devices, being simple and yet effective for children to understand. The ants’ antennae curl up in happiness or flop down in sadness, which I felt was a good way for the children to understand what the ants were feeling and to sympathise with them.
Have read the Kindle copy of this book myself prior to reading the story to my six-year-old granddaughter. In fact, I will probably buy her the actual book when it comes out so that she can continue to refer to it as and when she pleases. She is slightly younger than the reader the book is aimed at but I think with the involvement of an adult this would be a very useful tool for younger children with very inquisitive minds and also to those on the Autism spectrum who are possibly older.
I did actually enjoy the story and loved the moral behind it, it’s the younger generation that is going to face up to and hopefully ameliorates the damage done so far to our planet before it’s too late and I think this message is put across to the young reader in a way that will captivate and motivate them.
I very harshly dropped a star from my rating only because although the illustrations are beautifully done and whilst I love those of the ants, I personally feel that the images of the girls are aimed at a younger age than the story is and are not 'relevant' to a lot of mainstream children.
I hope to read more books in this series as and when they become available.
This is a brilliant children's story that just begs to be read out loud in teeny tiny voices!
It is beautifully illustrated throughout with gorgeous pictures that depict each of the characters at various points in their adventure.
This is a fantastic story that introduces children to the world of recycling, the need to protect our planet and treat all living things with respect. It encourages children to ask questions about recycling and how they can actively work to save our planet and all its different environments - all in teeny tiny voices of course!
Ants in Space is a wonderful chapter book, which transports the reader to a fantastical world while still retaining elements of science fact.
I really liked the characters of Eva and Lara, and it was very funny how the aliens kept getting their names wrong. The aliens' gadgets and gizmos were also entertaining to read about. I think some aspects of the plot may be too complicated for small children to understand, but they will probably still enjoy the book as a whole.
One thing I didn't like was how the pronouns were handled for Kweezy Capolza when Lara didn't know whether he was male or female. A quote from page 5 illustrates this:
"She or he was talking to the crowd of ant-persons around her or him."
Using both pronouns made the sentences rather clunky, and I feel that simply using 'it' would have worked better (since humans often refer to animals as 'it').
As for the illustrations, they are out of this world (pun definitely intended). They fit the story perfectly, and they are sure to delight both children and adults, especially if they are viewed in colour.
The design and layout of the book was very eye-catching, too, though it was a little bit confusing having the ants' dialogue in a slightly bigger font size than the rest of the text (since, according to the note at the start of the book, the ants are supposed to speak in a teeny tiny voice).
Overall, I think children aged six and up will love this book. Younger children might struggle to understand the elements of the story, but they will still enjoy looking at the pictures.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Overall, the story was all right. It is definitely meant for children no younger than middle school age. This would be too much for younger elementary school children (5 to 8-years-old) to absorb. The big science terms and ecological concepts are too much for younger children to comprehend.
Also, this is not a straight-up science fiction story. I would say it falls under a new genre called Eco Sci-Fi or Eco-Fiction. The subject matter has an ecological save-the-planet moral to the story feel to it. If you are buying this for your kids, please don't expect the story to be strictly sci-fi and as a Star Trek adventure with ants. Instead, this story has more of an ecological aspect, like the Lorax. If you have science-loving kids, then they'll enjoy this book.
Suitable for ages 8 and up
This Children's book “Ants In Space” by D.J. Griffiths is a nicely illustrated, bright children’s book. I think that for a self read it would be suitable for a good reader, age 8 upwards, but for younger readers, it would be tricky to read on their own. If you are reading to your little one it allows the adults to put on teeny voices for the ant characters which my little one enjoyed.
There is a serious message in the story that the author is trying to portray and some concepts come across well but it quite challenging science at times and did require a lot of explaining to my 7-year-old. I think that little ones can just enjoy it as a story.
Adorable children's book filled with science and so much more!
Adorable children's book filled with science and so much more!
Ants In Space (Kweezy Capolza Books Book 1) is an adorable and creative illustrated book for young children written as only G J Griffiths can.
I call it a fun science starter as it touches on various subjects and topics in science, introducing them and allowing the child to explore them in very creative and humorous ways. A good way to make an impact and make learning science fun. I could imagine moms and dads reading together with their children and pointing to the illustrations which helped to explain and move the story along. I could also imagine some of the little tidbits of science nestled within the broader context as jumping points for the family to research further, like looking up what a fennec fox looks like.
The little girls in the book are charming. Griffith taps into the age of children really well, as he did with his previous So What! book series, which were for a bit older audience.
I really liked how Griffiths handled and explained the notion of time by using two worlds. It was fun and creative. This is a tough concept to get across and understand at an early age. It was pretty clear.
Also, in explaining it all (perhaps I should have started with this) from an alien ant’s perspective was really “cool!” Griffiths was able to bring together the view of the world from a very small and far away perspective (both a child’s view and height, and small animals to ants), as well as introduce concepts by comparing and contrasting science and theories from the alien versus human perspective. It works. Great idea.
I thought the alien ant language the author created was very fun, almost like playing a game trying to pronounce the words. I could see kids having fun trying to pronounce the words along with their parents – lots of giggles. It’s a nice way to introduce new/other languages/cultures - another jumping point for parents to explain to those of an early age. Using “Agorrl” and “Myzeesta” was brilliant! A small puzzle to figure out.
Griffiths also touched on how some topics may be a bit too much, too heavy, or too advanced for the very young readers. That there are limits. But, for those interested, they could follow the trail and look into it further. Or, have their parents try to help explain. Lots of teamwork opportunities, mother and father bonding and teaching, as well as laughs.
Loving our planet and taking care of it is a major theme throughout. A solid foundation for learning and understanding science and the world around us. Ants In Space also has an overall positive message to children even though there may be a few bumps in the road.
The writing brings me back to an earlier age. Where we are so innocent and engaged with nature and the world on a very different level. Where we are still mostly an empty vessel just waiting to be filled up with knowledge.
Very cute and engaging. Ah, to be a kid again…
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