Wednesday, January 4, 2017

A Case of Sense by Songju Ma Daemicke and illustrated by Shennen Bersani from Arbordale Publishing [Review & Giveaway]

ISBN: 9781628558531 
Paperback $9.99
Hardcover $17.99
Reading level: Mid-Elementary
My thoughts:  While the story narrated in A Case of Sense is a folk tale in numerous cultures, primarily Asian, it is new to the American reader. In it a greedy cook decides he will cook up a way to enrich himself without cost by preparing a variety of dishes that are highly arromatic. Once he does this, he goes about the city knocking on doors and demanding payment from the people because they benefited (according to him) from smelling his food.

They rightly refused to pay him and Fu Wang takes the people to court. Young Ming has observed this and continues to observe the proceedings in court. After listening to the demands (the case) presented by Fu Wang, the judge instructs each of those being sued to remove all the coins from their pockets. He then has them shake and rattle them creating sounds.

His decision is that Fu Wang has now been compensated by the people because he has "heard" the sound of the coins in payment for the "smell" of his food. Quite an interesting concept and a good way to show that the two senses, smell and sound, have no monetary value. At the end of the book, there are several pages for educators, home schoolers, and inquisitive minds to further discover the five (not just two) senses. The story has value on multiple levels - cultural, biological, and perhaps even mathmatical and judical.

About the book: While Ming plays outside one summer day, the smell of delicious food fills the air. It is coming from greedy Fu Wang's house. What is he up to? wonders Ming. To his alarm, Fu Wang demands that all the neighbors pay him for the pleasant smells. When the neighbors refuse, the case goes to court. How will the judge rule in this unusual case and will justice be served? Can Fu Wang make money from the neighbors' sense of smell? A wise judge makes use of another sense to close the case with clever and convincing logic.

Teaching Activities Guidelines link - click here

For Creative Minds PDF - Great fun!

Begins January 5, 2017
ENDS January 26 @ 12:01 a.m. EST
Open to USA addresses only.
DISCLOSURE: A complimentary copy was provided by the publisher to facilitate my review for which I received no compensation. Winner's copy will by provided by and sent directly to the winner by Arbordale Publishing.


  1. 1. The teaching activites Web site suggests a scavenger hunt activity.
    2. At the publisher's Web site I like the Animal Mouths because of the pictures of beautiful animals.
    3. I'm sure reviewing the Animals Mouths book would be fine.

  2. I love this story! I think my kids would find it hilarious and very satisfying! Thanks for sharing this at Booknificent Thursday on this week! Always a pleasure to have you!

  3. I enjoyed the comprehension question in the guide which asked the young readers to explain themselves.


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