Review: SuperQuesters – The Case of the Stolen Sun
This post contains gifted items. All views are our own.
We’ve got a really fun book review to share with you today. If you’ve been following our blog for a while, you’ll know that my youngest really loves his science, so when we were invited to review the first book in the new SuperQuesters STEM book series, we jumped at the chance.
In case you’re not familiar with the term, STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, and SuperQuesters is designed to inspire a love for STEM learning in children through interactive stories. In SuperQuesters: The Case of the Stolen Sun, we meet friends Lilli, Leo and Bea, who are in their classroom at school and wondering how hot air balloons go up despite being so heavy. When, as a last resort, they hold hands, close their eyes, and try to think really REALLY hard in the hope the answer will come to them, they find themselves transported to Questland, and that’s where the adventure really starts.
The Queen of Questland sends the three friends on a mission to help recover the stolen sun from Lord Grumble, who has plunged Questland in to eternal night. They have to solve eight quests, and at the end the Queen rewards them with the answer to their question, that they are seeking. The reader is invited to help the three friends solve the quests through different interactive activities – which include a mix of problem solving, pattern recognition, sequencing, spacial perception and more – using the stickers provided at the back of the book. In total, the book introduces 11 different STEM skills, and there’s a glossary at the end of the book, explaining all the skills covered.
My son really enjoyed reading this book and doing the activities, though he did find them a little too easy. They do get progressively harder, but only the last one really challenged him. It says the series is aimed at age 4-8, and my son is 7.5 so he is at the top end of that age range. But he is also very interested in science and maths, he’s done a lot of these kind of activities before, so it was tricky for me too gage whether it was his age or his existing interests that made the activities easy for him. It could be that 4-8 is just too wide an age range and perhaps 4-6 would be a better target. But it could also be that an average 7 year old, who isn’t already super engaged with STEM, would find the activities more challenging. Nevertheless, my son enjoyed working through the book and the first thing he said when we finished reading it was “Can we get more of these?”
Other things we like include the colourful illustrations, the reward chart at the front of the book where you can chart your progress, and of course the stickers. We especially love that the book comes with two sets of stickers, so if you want to do the activities again, you can peel off the first set and start from scratch. We tested this out, and the stickers do come off again fairly easily. This is a brilliant addition to the book, as so often with these kinds of sticker activity books once you’ve done them, that’s it. Would e.g. work really well for siblings sharing the book, who both want to have a go at the activities. Plus, as a nice bonus, there are some extra stickers included just for fun, that you can use for crafting or whatever you like. But the story does also read well on its own without doing the activities each time, so even once you exhausted all your sticker options it still works as a storybook.
There were a couple of practical points we thought the book could improve on. The pages with the stickers are at the back of the book, right next to the page with all the answers to the quests! That means, when you are bending the pages to get the stickers off (if you’ve ever tried to peel stickers of a page, you’ll know what I mean), you’re getting a glimpse of the answers each time. So I would suggest either having an extra page between the answers and the stickers, or having the stickers at the front of the book instead. Even better would be, if the sticker pages were perforated so that you can easily tear them out and have the stickers next to you as you read the book, as constantly having to flick back and forth between the story and the sticker pages was really frustrating for my son.
Overall though, my son gave this book a big thumbs up and as mentioned above, he wants to get the next book in the series, which is due out in Autumn. SuperQuesters: The Case of the Stolen Sun is available from Amazon (affiliate link) and other high street bookstores.
You can find out more about SuperQuesters on the QuestFriendz website including STEM quest activity sheets to download – AND if you read the book, you’ll find a special code on the intro page, which will lock even more bonus activities on the website!
Disclosure: We were gifted a free copy of SuperQuesters: The Case of the Stolen Sun in return for an honest review. If you buy a copy via the Amazon affiliate link in this post, we earn a small commission at no extra cost to you, which helps to keep this blog running.