We had the most amazing opportunity to review a STEM-themed children’s book from a local Midwest author! Za Za’s Scent-Sational Super Power is a super fun adventure of a little girl and a brightly-colored bee that heightened her sense of smell. According to Cincinnati-based author, Alexis Wintrob, “Za Za’s nose would never be the same after a surprise encounter with Lizzy, a honey-scented, pink, purple, and yellow polka-dotted bee. Armed with her new scent super power, Za Za embarks on memorable fragrance-ﬁlled adventures. Testing out a dash of this and a hint of that, she learns from her fragrance ﬂops and problem solves with her new friend to create unforgettable fragrance experiences.”
We asked our daughter to read the book and give us her thoughts. The almost-11-year-old thinks it would be great for 7-8 year olds. Her niece is 6, and she doesn’t think she’d understand all the words. We told her it might be a good opportunity that a big kid like herself could use to read to a younger sibling or cousin and explain what the bigger words mean. She thinks the point of the book is to be super fun. She also thinks younger kids could learn about the smells there are in the world that are good and not so good. I’d note that Wintrob makes the book a fun way to get kids excited about science.
Our daughter really likes the illustrations. Her favorite part about the book is when the book starts with the main character introducing herself as Za Za, and she asked us, “What if you guys had named me Za Za?! It’s so funny!” She wants to know where the nickname came from when we told her it was most likely a fun nickname like all the ones we have for her. There is one part of the book where Za Za tries to make her scented concoctions, and the picture shows it bubbling over – that was the other part our daughter really liked.
Our girl has always been terrified of bees, even though I’ve let her watch me allow them to land on me, sniff to know I’m not pollen, and move on. I asked her if this book made bees less scary for her. She said, “No! They’re not that cute and sweet in real life! They are scary little stingers!” We tried!
We took her reading of this book as a chance to quiz her on the five senses to see if she remembers them all. She got it all right! “Touch, smell, taste, see, and hear.” She thinks it might be fun if Za Za had other adventures younger kids could learn from about the other four senses.
This is a sweet book with fun and bright illustrations. While we’d recommend some racial diversity and adding in a young boy character (as a new brother or a friend) in future adventures exploring the other four senses, this is a great way to teach kids about the sense of smell in more detail and make science projects look like a lot of fun! The author’s notes on how to share the “science” lesson with kids at the very end is wonderfully done.
We would definitely recommend this as a great book to give to the young ones for an upcoming birthday or holiday gift.
Get Za Za’s Scent-Sational Super Power HERE, or find it in the “Books” section of our Guide to Amazon Mom Must-Haves.
After reading Za Za’s Scent-Sational Super Power, you can do several fun activities with little ones to demonstrate how smell and memory are connected. Check out the sensorial activities HERE.
November 8, 2020 is National STEM & STEAM Day! This is a great book to get in preparation to celebrate and discover the day with your little one(s).