Book Review: Elgin and the Mysterious Twitch

Elgin and the Mysterious Twitch, by Robin Harden Daniels

My review: ★★

As the cover says, this is a science-themed adventure for kids. We follow the story of Elgin, a young fox who has a problem: his ear twitches whenever there’s danger. It has been twitching like crazy recently, and he goes to the village elders to figure out what to do about it. They use the scientific method to form and test a hypothesis. Ultimately the danger is revealed, and their scientific approach leads to a solution.

Story-telling like this is a nice way to introduce children to science concepts. During the story we learn the definition of the scientific method, plus see an example of its use in action. During Elgin’s travels around the various parts of the fox realm, we also get a description of how foxes in each area live differently and have different access to resources — which is a great social commentary. You see that some foxes are poorer and some are richer, while they can all be happy and help each other. There is also some coverage of bullying, as another fox bullies Elgin about his ear-twitch.

This book is probably best for kids in the 6-10 year old range. My main reason for not giving the book five stars is pacing; the story gets a little slow at times. Otherwise it’s a great book to read with your kids and gently discuss the topics without it becoming a lecture.

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