The Adventures of The Strata Corps by Kenny Harwood is a guided activity book with a story. The reader is the captain of a spaceship, and takes part in activities and handles emergencies on the spaceship.
The story was an innovative way to keep a child’s attention. The narrative is detailed and quite well written. The characters are thoroughly defined, as are their responsibilities in the crew.
I appreciated how some pages were left black and white in a way that they are colourable. It was a nice feature that I did not expect. Additionally, the log entries at the end of every chapter were also a good idea.
However, I felt that the book could be improved in multiple ways.
There were a few grammatical and editing mistakes. The illustrations of the human bodies could have been better.
None of the activities came with instructions. While I did not find that to be an issue with most of the activities, the sudoku puzzles needed instructions. Sudoku is not a puzzle that everyone knows beforehand how to solve, and it is not as obvious as a word search or a maze. Moreover, the sudoku puzzles made little sense in the context of the story.
There seemed to be an abundance of mazes and word searches. A broader range of exercises may have benefited the book. There could have also been a more even distribution between all the types of activities they had.
For the mazes, it would have made more sense for flight paths if there were celestial bodies to avoid rather than simply zigzagging through space.
In the case of word searches, some words seemed unnecessary, like mononucleosis and conjunctivitis.
Finally, the word ‘suckers’ is given in the plot once, and it felt unnecessary and unsuitable when the target audience was considered.
To conclude, this book is a good way to keep kids away from the TV and video games. The story will grab their attention and keep them engaged for a long time. It provides the fun of reading a story and the enjoyment of doing different activities and participating in the story.