JJ’s Science Adventure

BY alistair

JJ’s Science Adventure: Magnets is the first installment in ‘Aurelia’s Comics for Education’ from Harvest Edutainment (2013; 80 pages; RRP S$18.90/US$17.90).  The story is a full-coloured action-packed yarn about two very active children (Joyce, sharp-witted, intelligent and conscientious, brave and resourceful; and her brother Jonathon, sporadically a brilliant and creative genius, but with occasional stunning moments of unclear or absent thinking).

They go on a quest through a mysterious portal in order to save their scientist grandfather from the creepy Mr. Sinister. All manner of mayhem ensues. The villains are indeed villainous, but in a playful and confused way; our heroes bicker a lot, but remain heroic and rather likeable. The quest will (hopefully) continue through many more books to come.

Somehow, all the syllabus material about magnets from Singapore’s primary science syllabus has been worked into the plot. The illustrations are intense, lively, attractive; the educational content is accurately presented but doesn’t seem forced, even though there are a few panels that only present information.  JJ’s Science Adventure: Magnets comes across as a fun read that leaves the reader hungry for the next book.

At the back, after the main story, you’ll find some useful illustrated extras: information on magnetic-levitation trains and the use of magnets in diagnostic imaging, plus a simple puzzle to help readers remember key facts. Overall, this is well worth the retail price for what it does, and if the remaining installments are of similar or better quality, it will be a good educational investment.