Queen Vernita Conquers the Volcanic Islands
Dr. Dawn Menge
Archway Publishing (2019)
Reviewed by Lydia Dehning (age 6) for Reader Views Kids (10/19)
“Queen Vernita Conquers the Volcanic Islands” by Dr. Dawn Menge is the story of a queen named Vernita who has decided to visit different areas around her kingdom to see what the people do there and how they live.
Queen Vernita starts out the month of January at the Volcanic Islands where she learns about black sand, lava and the ocean, and endangered species that live there, like the hawksbill sea turtle and the Hawaiian monk seal. During February, she learns about the animals that live in tide pools, such as starfish, mussels, and clams, also about sea anemone. Then she learned old stories about mermaids and the goddess Atargais and the god Triton. In March, Queen Vernita visits the Green Sand Beach and finds out why the sand is green. In April, the queen spends the month helping some girls make leis for their Spring Celebration because one of them has Rhett Syndrome. For the month of April, the queen learns about this syndrome and how it affects people with their body and mind. In May, the queen goes to a beach with orange sand and learns why it is this color and how limestone helps.
In June, the queen learns how to use a sailboat with her friend Wanda and how the wind helps. In July, the queen learns about sharks and which ones are the most dangerous, she also gets to watch them underwater in a cage with scuba gear on. In August, the queen goes to a beach with pink sand and learns how coral helps make it that color. In September, the queen goes to the Volcanic Basin and learns about lava and how it helps make islands. In October, the queen goes back underwater and learns about the different fish that swim down there. In November, the queen goes to the Volcanic National Park and learns more about lava, and also about autism. Her friend there, Connor, has autism and can’t speak to her, so Connor’s dad helps explain what Autism is and how people with it act. In December, the queen spends the month watching sunsets with her friend Wendy and learns how the colors of the sunset are there.
I liked this book because there is a lot to learn with Queen Vernita during her time traveling to the different places. I liked learning about the animals in the water, under the ocean and in the tide pools. I would like to go to these places because I like the beach and playing in the sand. I would like to read some of the other Queen Vernita books, since I this is my first one.
A Note from Mom: This is a neat book! I liked how each page contained a lot of information about each area she was visiting, but that it was in bitesize chunks and easy to understand for the kids. You could tell that Dr. Menge’s focus is on education, educating the reader about animals and the environment, as well as neurological and physical disorders such as Rhett Syndrome and Autism. This book was a good introduction to Lydia to these issues and will hopefully spark her interest in wanting to learn more about all of it, or at least bringing it to her attention so it won’t be foreign to her. This book was very well made and will hopefully continue to be a long series with Queen Vernita and the Land of Quails.