Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Winter Reading 2019 Ada Twist and the Perilous Pants


Ada is full of questions as always. Why does her mother's coffee have a stronger smell than her father's?  Why do her brothers shoes stink so much? What kind of birds are in her backyard? And then, a man in puffy pants comes floating in to her backyard. Floating! It turns out that her friend Rosie Revere's uncle was wearing pants filled with helium and the person who was holding the safety rope let go. Off floated Uncle Ned and now the girls and Iggy Peck have to get him down before he floats away and is lost forever.

Ada uses what she knows about predicting the direction of the wind, gases, buoyancy, and temperature to bring Uncle Ned back down to safety. Her friends Rosie and Iggy have ideas too, but this situation is more suited to Ada's scientific knowledge than to Rosie's inventions or Iggy's architectural know-how.

The scenes with Ada's family are very believable. Her cat and older brother run when they see her tapping her chin, because they know she is about to experiment on something and they don't want to be the subject of her study. Her mother and father encourage her gently, "Keep investigating ... you'll figure it out." But they also make rules such as, "Don't take Arthur's things without his permission." Even when they become exasperated with her experiments or endless curiosity, they always love her and forgive her enthusiasm.

Many of us have loved the picture book adventures of these friends and rejoiced when the chapter book series began. The Questioneers book 2, carries on the proud tradition and leaves us ready for more STEM fun with the whole gang. In the back matter there is an explanation of Citizen Science with specific details about the Great Backyard Bird Count that Ada is practicing for in the story. There is also a very funny "Ode to a Gas!"

Fun for early chapter book readers with art by David Roberts to capture some of the humor.

I read an ARC provided by the publisher for review purposes. (Pubs in April.)

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