Last year, we had the privilege of interviewing Anita Sebastian, author of the Ranger Anne series, when she released her first set of Ranger Anne books, and Noah thoroughly enjoyed all four books in that series. (Read the interview and review HERE.) I was excited to hear that her second set of books was recently released, because it included one on fireflies, which we encountered when we stayed at Juhu Villa in Taiwan last year.
Ranger Anne Series (Set 2)
Even before we received the books, Noah was keen to learn more about fireflies, and we were reading a book that included a bit of information on them. Imagine how happy he was to find that there was an entire Ranger Anne book dedicated to fireflies! It was the first book that he asked me to read to him, and till today, it remains his favourite out of the four books in set 2.
In ‘Ranger Anne and the Magical Fireflies’, Ranger Anne goes on a night-time field trip with two more experienced rangers to learn more about fireflies. I thought it was good that Ranger Anne came up with a few questions about fireflies, as well as a list of items she would need on the field trip. This would encourage young explorers to think about what they want to learn about a certain animal/insect, and they can choose to focus on these questions during their own learning expeditions. Noah and I had a discussion on why Ranger Anne needed the items on her list for the field trip, and it was useful in helping me explain what to expect on a night-time field trip, as well as to highlight the importance of being organised/prepared.
Together with Ranger Anne, we learnt that fireflies communicate with each other using their lights, and even picked up big words like, “bioluminescence”, which in simple terms means to give out light, and “entomologist”, ie a person who studies insects. We also talked about the fireflies we saw in Taiwan, and how we caught and held fireflies in our hands back then, and I like that this book provided us with so many different things to talk about.
Ranger Anne and the Magical Fireflies
‘Ranger Anne and the Smiling Slow Loris’ raises a important issue: people who illegally keep wild animals as pets. Though this is probably not as prevalent now than it was in the past, it is still something that children should be made aware of, so that they can play their part in protecting the wild animals. Ranger Anne reiterated this lesson by saying, “Slow lorises are not meant to be people’s pets.” I took the opportunity to ask Noah which animals he thought could be kept as pets, and which ones couldn’t, but it backfired a little on me because after that, he started asking me if he could have a pet too. Oops.
Noah was particularly bothered by how ill the slow loris was after being kept illegally as a pet, and kept asking me why it looked so sad. We talked about how most animals are meant to be in the wild, and that keeping them as pets would cause more harm than good. We also discussed the animals he saw in the zoo, and how the Singapore zoo tries to recreate the animals’ natural habitats as far as possible, so that the animals will be comfortable.
Apart from learning that we shouldn’t keep wild animals as pets, we also learnt some facts about slow lorises, like how their second fingers are smaller, allowing them to get a better grip on the branches. Noah also remembered seeing slow lorises in the movie Zootopia, and tried mimicking how slowly they moved, which made him giggle madly after a while.
Ranger Anne and the Smiling Slow Loris
Elephants and giraffes are probably two of the most common animals in zoos around the world, and Noah is no stranger to either animal. We’ve caught the elephant show at the Singapore zoo before, so we talked about how strong and fun-loving elephants are, after we read ‘Ranger Anne and the Noisy Elephant’. Noah was amused by how the elephants walk in a line by holding on to each other’s tails, and even more so when he saw Ally holding on to Ranger Anne’s ponytail.
Ranger Anne and the Noisy Elephant
‘Ranger Anne and the Graceful Giraffe’ ties in nicely with the Singapore zoo’s latest addition, Jubilee the baby giraffe. In the story, Ranger Anne visits Greg, the baby giraffe, and helps to feed him when he cannot reach the higher leaves. We also learnt about how giraffes all have their own unique coat patterns, which led to a discussion on how animals such as zebras and tigers also have unique patterns of stripes.
Noah got to feed giraffes for the first time during our Bangkok trip last year, and it was a really memorable experience for him, because he still talks about it on and off. We talked about how the giraffes at Safari World Bangkok were standing on a lower platform, so that visitors could feed them easily, and compared that to how Greg and the other giraffes in the book got their food from a pole, and discussed how they couldn’t eat grass from the ground because it was too low for them.
Ranger Anne and the Graceful Giraffe
Just like the first set of Ranger Anne books, these books include interesting bits of information about the featured animal (or insect). I like that the books are educational, yet easy enough for a preschooler to understand. There is also a page filled with more detailed information about the animal/insect at the end of each book, and older children who want to learn more about the animal/insect can refer to it, before perhaps doing their own research as well.
I like how enthusiastic and caring Ranger Anne is towards the animals, and how the facts are presented in an interesting manner. The books provide several platforms for parents to engage their children in discussions, and I think that it is a great way to allow children to develop and express their own ideas.
Buy the Book
Ranger Anne Series (Set 2) – Noisy Elephant, Magical Fireflies, Graceful Giraffe, Smiling Slow Loris on Armour Publishing
Ranger Anne Series (Set 2) is also available at Popular Bookstores
Check out the previous Friday Flips posts HERE. I’ve also created a photo album on Facebook with some other good reads, and will be updating it whenever I come across more books that we enjoy. Do pop by for a look HERE.
Disclaimer: We received a set of the Ranger Anne series (Set 2) books for the purpose of this review. All photos and opinions are, as always, our own.