My daughter loved progressing through The Case of the Stolen Sun and she did a 'quest' each morning while she was eating her breakfast. At 10 years old she is at the very upper end of the age range, but it just meant that she could check her own answers in the back and put her own sticker on the reward chart in the front of the book each time she completed a quest. She didn't solve all of the quests in the suggested way, because where you were supposed to put a jump or arrow sticker on top of an animal picture she didn't want to cover up the animal with a sticker. So if the squares that were supposed to be covered by a sticker had something not at all cute on them, like a bacteria or something very bad, she would probably have got more of the quests technically correct. Handily, the activity book comes with two full sets of stickers, so the quests could be redone at a later date when maybe she won't be quite so opposed to the idea of covering up some of the cute animals with stickers.
The illustrations are lovely, detailed and fun and are very in keeping with the storybook format, so it doesn't feel at all like a textbook or homework. There is a glossary written in plain English to help with any technical terms, which means that I have also learnt a few new things too - I now know a bit more about what an algorithm is!
Director - Grapevine Media Group Ltd
Dr Thomas Bernard and Lisa Moss, illustrated by Amy Willcox
QuestFriendz, £7.99. For super problem-solvers and curious creators aged 4-8 years.
“A fun, interactive book for inquisitive minds and any budding young STEM enthusiasts.”
Konnie Huq, STEM advocate and author of Cookie and the Most Annoying Boy in the World
“Action packed adventure with interactive challenges! Kids will love the story and illustrations, and particularly the quests that need some thought, and some stickers!”
Roma Agrawal, Engineer and Author of How Was That Built?
A STEM-sational new series inspiring ALL children to become super problem-solvers and curious creators through STEM adventures.
The first instalment in a unique new series which inspires a love of STEM learning through interactive play and stories, expertly designed to develop children’s STEM skills (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).
Written by STEM experts Dr Thomas Bernard and Lisa Moss and illustrated by Amy Willcox, children are invited to solve expertly-pitched STEM ‘quests’ in Questland with aspirational superhero characters, Lillicorn, Bea Bumble and Leo Zoom.
Combining brilliant storytelling with interactive hands-on learning, the book features over 100 reusable stickers and a reward chart to celebrate success. 8-12 STEM skills including coding, sequencing and algorithms are developed as children complete each interactive quest and the book is carefully designed with cross-curricular learning opportunities in mind, linking with the UK computing, maths and science national curriculum.
About the story in SuperQuesters: The Case of the Stolen Sun
When Lilli and her best friends Leo and Bea unite to solve a challenging science problem they turn into SUPERHEROES Lillicorn, Leo Zoom and Bea Bumble and journey to a magical world full of adventure and quests. And now they need YOUR help in their mission to track down Lord Grumble and return the stolen sun to Questland before it’s too late. It’s time to Read, Quest, Learn
Why should adults living and working with children inspire a love of STEM learning?
- The UK has a growing STEM skills gap estimated to be costing the economy £1.5 billion per year. SuperQuesters will inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers (source: E&T)
- The UK remains one of the worst regions in Europe when it comes to encouraging women into STEM roles. Currently, only 24% of UK STEM roles are held by women (source: Wise) with some specific STEM disciplines even lower (Engineering at 10% and Tech at 17%) (source: STEM Women).
- One third of parents and teachers inaccurately perceive STEM discipline as more closely fitting boys’ brains, personalities and hobbies (source: Accenture Girls in STEM 2017 report).
- Even children as young as six can develop ideas that girls don’t like computer science and engineering as much as boys (source: PNAS Scientific Journal)
“‘Read, Quest, Learn!’ is our motto – the SuperQuester books will embolden ALL children to become super problem-solvers and curious creators through STEM adventures. We want to inspire ALL children to help build their own wooden dollhouses, not just play with them and to create technology, not simply consume it.”
Dr Thomas Bernard and Lisa Moss
The aspirational superhero characters in SuperQuesters will help change children’s perceptions about science and engineering. 90% of children love superheroes and 90% want to solve world problems (source: The Institution of Engineering and Technology) so superheroes who are scientists and engineers also act as inspirational role models, showing children that STEM is for everyone.
Designed for use within the home (either independently or shared with a parent, sibling or friend) or within an education setting (either in the classroom or an after-school club), the series is ideal for fans of Ada Twist, Scientist, PJ Masks and Izzy Gizmo.
The SuperQuesters books are also a great screen-free way to help young children develop basic coding skills. The QuestFriendz website features a wealth of STEM activities and resources for use in the home or school setting. An accompanying and comprehensive SuperQuesters Teacher’s Guide will be available for digital download purchase.
The series has been carefully designed and art directed by leading UK children’s publishing creative Sophie Stericker who has worked on top selling children’s brands and authors such as Waterstones Children's Laureate Cressida Cowell, Enid Blyton Entertainment and J. K. Rowling.
Book two, SuperQuesters: The Case of the Missing Memory will publish in Autumn 2022.
About the authors and illustrator
Husband and wife author team, Dr Thomas Bernard and Lisa Moss were inspired to co-found QuestFriendz, a STEM children’s book publisher, following the birth of their twin daughters and their passionate belief that all children should be nurtured to love STEM learning. Lisa grew up in Canada and has written stories from a young age. A 20-year corporate career at several high-tech companies led her to become acutely aware of the STEM skills gap. Thomas grew up in France and was inspired by his grandfather to have a curiosity for science, technology and discovering the world around him. His love for coding and the opportunity to create and innovate led him to pursue a PhD in Computer Engineering. He became profoundly aware of the STEM skills gap and more specifically the gender gap in STEM during his time as a computer science lecturer and during his career at several high tech companies. Twitter @lisa_a_moss @ThomasAMBernard @QuestFriendz #SuperQuesters
Amy Willcox studied illustration at Falmouth University and now works as a freelance illustrator. She is represented by Lemonade Illustration Agency. She lives and works in Norwich with her husband James, daughter Elsie, son Miles and Alfie the dog. She loves to draw and create interesting characters.