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!
G J Griffiths is a retired science teacher with some early working experience of the photographic industry. Born in the UK he enjoys reading most genres of fiction such as sci-fi, crime/detective thrillers, historical and wildlife stories. Non-fiction reading mainly includes scientific or historical books. Walking in the English, Scottish or Welsh countryside with binoculars ready for bird-watching or other wildlife is a particular pleasure. His first novel was Fallen Hero and the So What! series of three books followed. All three are focussed on the fictitious Birch Green High School. More recent works include poetry: Dizzyrambic Imaginings, two illustrated children’s sci-fi stories about ant-size aliens and historical novels based upon real characters from the Industrial Revolution period: The Quarry Bank Tales., Mules; Masters & Mud, The Mule Spinners' Daughters.
My rating is 3.5 Children's book “Ants In Space” by D.J. Griffiths is a beautifully illustrated, but with the story itself; I was not too thrilled. From children's literature expect that story to be appropriate to their age, I think that the writer is not quite managed to do in this story because at times and for me it was too much too serious. The sympathetic beginning of the story when the girl Lara discovers ants from outer space, as the story progresses at times turns children's ages and becomes too seriously. It culminates with Einstein's theory of relativity that many adults cannot understand. Although the writer tried to explain that it would be appropriate for children, I still think that it would not easily explain to my daughter who is eight. The story has a nice and educational components. Funny like book-worms and instructive about the extermination of animal species and the environment. But the story is a little overstretched and too serious. Personally, I think that if the children read this story would need help from adults to a lot of things that they have to explain. At the end of children would become uninteresting to the story, and just to scroll through and view the artwork. Everything I have written is my opinion, but perhaps other readers have opposite opinions than mine. I tried, to be honest in my thinking.
First in a new children's series, this is a delightfully illustrated ants-as-aliens story. Two lucky little girls, sisters, discover in their garden aliens who resemble ants. The two girls get to travel on the spaceship to the alien planet, where they learn some science and are helpful.
ANTS IN SPACE is a chapter book with illustrations.
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 means 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 referenced to current technology such as similar mini mobile-phone devices. There were some new ideas as well like 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.
Since the book is for middle-graders, I asked my daughter aged 10 to read it and let me know her thoughts. My 5-star rating is based purely on her reaction - she loved the book. It had her in splits at places - especially at every mention of Agorrl and Myzeesta - and made her contemplate about the subtle but more serious issue of saving the earth's ecosystem at others. It takes imagination to come up with gibberish yet plausible names and terms used by the aliens and the author seems to have excelled in that! The construct of the alien planet of the ants is also well thought out. Overall, the book was a fun read for both of us. Can't wait to see what happens in Book 2!
Ants In Space (Kweezy Capolza Books, #1) by G.J. Griffiths is a book for kids about middle grade. It has delightful illustrations throughout the book to help enhance the story. The story itself had a predictable plot and shallow characters but for kids, maybe they don't care but I did. I wanted to quit reading but stuck it out and it did get better. Overall it was an okay book but not likely to read more of these ant adventures or loan it out to my grandkids.
Unlike most other readers probably, I read the sequel first, then the original book. This book is written much better than the sequel, more accessible to children, and the language flows more naturally. I was relieved to see that this series had a solid start.
A good message to children with some environmental themes. Some ideas seemed bizarre, though, like snatching away endangered species to another planet to be kept safe (very hard to do in practice, as animals evolve over a very specific environment, and besides, I thought the other planet was even more desolate for living?) Also, not sure how you "recycle" Teflon straight from pans, once it's manufactured, it's probably darn difficult to extract.
But children won't care for such abstract detail. They'll enjoy the fun of this book.
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.
Even before the story starts to unfold, author G.J. Griffiths had me laughing out loud. He begins with an instructional note about how his tale, Ants in Space, should be told. Adults are known to forget important details like making sure tiny ant-people have tiny voices. He tells the children, who are excellent at reminding grown-ups, that this is an essential part of the storytelling, and Griffiths offers the most wonderful opportunity for both readers and listeners with this first book in his new series.
Lara is in the garden one beautiful day admiring the flowers, the sunny weather and the ants that are marching along the ground. When she hears tiny voices, she is sure that it is her older sister, Eva, playing tricks on her. When she realizes that Eva is nowhere near, she decides to do some investigating. This is when both Lara and Eva are carried away to begin their out of this world adventure.
These little ant-people the girls discover are enchanting. After Lara tells them she’s ‘a girl’, and that Eva is ‘my sister’, the tiny aliens take to calling them ‘Agorrl’ and ‘Myzeesta’. This is only one of the many wonderful, creative things Griffiths has come up with to make his story unique and entertaining.
The ant-persons of planet Antanesta need help. They are facing the direst of situations, and are hopeful that the children living on planet Earth will be able to assist them. Will Lara and Eva be able to come up with a solution to their problem?
I love everything about G.J. Griffiths’ Ants in Space. This book is absolutely mesmerizing … and not just for children. I’m an adult well past my picture book phase, and I was completely enthralled; not only with the story itself, but with the humor the author includes throughout, and the illustrations that decorate this delightful tale.
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 color.
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 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.
"Ants in Space" by G J Griffiths is a children's science fiction story that stresses how important it is to use the earth's resources judiciously.
Two sisters, Lara and Eva, while they are playing out in their garden, stumble upon alien ant people, and one of these ant people, Kweezy Capolza, asks for the girls' assistance and asks them to travel with them to their planet, Antanesta. He reduces them in size with his Kivata-zazza, a quantisizer, and they travel in the ant space ship.
On Antanesta, they learn that the ant people are in dire need of Teflon to continue their industry, and the girls suggest that this can be obtained from the waste piles on earth. They stumble over the complicated ant language, learn something about the ant culture - ant children go to school in cocoons with knowledge wires attached to their brains! - and discover many earth animals, reduced in size like themselves, that the ant people have brought over to replace the lost wildlife on Antanesta. Kweezy takes the girls out to scout around the planet in a hummingcraft, and they see for themselves how out of control development of so-called civilization can ruin natural resources.
The girls are a bit cutesy, but it is an imaginative story - I particularly want the color-changing sofa, and the zishel bowls - and will make children aware of the need to preserve resources, to reduce wastage, and to recycle as much as possible. It will also introduce them to the concepts of space and space travel, not to mention Professor Einstein and his famous formula. An enjoyable read altogether.
A delightful tale for young readers, sure to give them an early love for the scifi genre. Ant aliens have landed and whisked away two youngsters, hoping they can help them find their most precious commodity, teflon.
The girls have an interesting adventure ahead of them as they try to learn more about the ants and their culture. First there's a bit of a language barrier, then there's the strange ant food (which turns out to be quite nice). Followed up with a trip in a flying saucer.
Young readers will enjoy the language throughout, complete with words that are loads of fun to hear when the story is read aloud. Not to mention pantomimes of the ants' wiggly antennae! But it isn't all fun and games. There's a lesson to be learned as well about respecting the earth and taking good care of all its creatures.
I received a free copy for an honest and unbiased review.
If you were to ask an eleven year old if they wanted to read about the consequences of global industrialization on human and animal habitat, they would probably say "no". But to read a story about "Ants in Space", you'd likely get a resounding "yes".
I was not surprised to discover that author G.J. Griffiths was a retired science teacher. "Ants in Space", the first book in Griffiths's "Kweezy Capolza" series, is loaded with real-world facts and delightful illustrations. The parallels drawn between Earth and Antanesta, although not immediately obvious, are written in easily understood language for the books target audience to pick up on.
Griffiths has set up the beginning of an engaging series where the characters discover how to help two worlds instead of one, and it is a great resource to initiate discussion in the classroom about protecting the Earth for future generations.
This is a brilliant children's story that just begs to be read out loud in teeny tiny voices! It is beautifully illustrated through out 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 it's different environments - all in teeny tiny voices of course!
Absolutely delightful. I've thoroughly enjoyed this read and can't wait to read it to my God daughter this weekend I'm sure she will love it, it's funny and exciting and just adorable . Not sure how my squeaky voice will do but ill give it a go . I received this beautifully illustrated SIGNED copy through a giveaway here on Goodreads . also includes a sneak peak at the second book.
Ants in Space by G.J. Griffiths is an ambitious project, one that clearly hopes to raise in children an awareness of ecological concerns and to spark in them compassion for all of life on earth. That it is packaged as an adventure tale in space is just added fun for the reader.
I found the design, layout and illustrations to be charming and quite effective. Having said that, they do make the book feel as if it’s more an early reader / beginning chapter book than a middle grade novel, particularly as we’re more with Lara, the younger sister, than with Eva in terms of point of view at the start of the tale. I love that the language and concepts were not dumbed down and that this would be a challenging read, both in content and in language, for younger children. For older children, the audience this book appears to be targeting, however, while the content is still challenging enough, the layout, illustrations and even the way in which the story is told may not be as appealing. Some of the book’s strengths (for example, the charming illustrations, the use of interesting language – as an adult I had a lot of fun trying to pronounce, in a squeaky voice, of course, “Zeegrazzalo-Jeewoppzas” – and the shorter, colorful chapter layout) might also become a weakness if older children (i.e., the middle grade novel audience) find these characteristics to be too young for them.
As far as the story itself goes, I did enjoy it. I found myself at times a little impatient and at other times had difficulty suspending my disbelief, but I suspect children won’t have this difficulty at all.
Overall, this was an enjoyable read and I suspect many children would agree. As a bonus, they’ll learn some science along the way!
Ants in Space is fun story designed as a Children’s transition book, meaning to fill the slot in between when a child is reading picture books and when they move onto Chapter books. It has multiple small, color illustrations, short and quick chapters, and simplistic sentence structure mixed with context driven science vocabulary. As an elementary teacher, this is a book I’m happy to share with my students. Though the plot might be a bit linear and predictable for more advanced readers, it’s perfect for children just adventuring into independent reading who are hooked less by wondering about what happens next and more by confidence that they know what’s going to happen next. In all, this is a well done book that parents and teachers can be confident in sharing with 7-9 year old readers.
This book (with a killer title, by the way) is a fun, somewhat sciency adventure for middle grade readers. Lara and Eva encounter strange little ant-men, who turn out to be aliens. They immediately set off on an interplanetary adventure, learning about the ant's planet that parallels our own in many ways. Along the way, the girls learn a little about conservation, ecology, and even the relativity of space and time. Not bad for a middle grade read.
The pictures are bright and engaging. The humor is light and silly, with lots of funny antics surrounding misunderstood words. I think many young readers would really enjoy it, especially those who are especially interested in science.
Note: I received a free copy in exchange for my honest review.
I’ll admit, based on the illustrations I had pegged this book for preschoolers, when it is actually geared towards older children (8-10), and contains a valuable environmental message. That said, I did like the illustrations, they were colorful and will definitely appeal to kids. The story revolves around two young girls, whisked away from earth by an alien culture of ants, who enlist their help in gathering teflon, a valuable resource on their planet. The book is actually a chapter and not a picture book, therefore, it is targeted to kids with a bigger attention span. Young sci-fi fans are sure to enjoy this tale, but for children under eight, it is probably too advanced.
This book was given to me by the author for an honest review. The story it kind of cute but not a very fun read. I tried to think of what I would like if I were between ages 8 to 14. I doubt I would enjoy it. The story line has a kind of science to it but for children the names for me an adult kind of troubling to pronounce and read...Kweezy Capolza just one example. Those kind of distracted from the story. It is a good effort by the author to see what the market is for this kid of story for children. Wish the author all the best.