Asha and Baz Meet Katia Krafft

Common Deer. (Asha and Baz: Bk. 4). Mar. 2024. 114p. pap. $7.99. ISBN 9781988761916.
Gr 1-3–In the fourth book of the “Asha and Baz” series, the main characters are transported to meet renowned volcanologist Krafft. The book begins with a class competition called The Great Volcano Challenge where students make a volcano, and whoever has the biggest explosion wins a real volcanic rock! Asha really wants to win the lava rock, so she and Baz use their magic stick to go back to 1973 and get help from Katia Krafft. When they find her, she helps them understand what volcanoes look like, what kinds there are, and how they work. Clear and simple information, as well as illustrations, help young readers learn the facts and science along with the titular duo. Rich descriptions tell what volcanoes look like and bring the story to life. Those new to the series will still be able to follow the plot, as a brief summary is provided at the beginning about where the magic stick came from, and where Asha and Baz have traveled before. Patel’s gray scale, cartoonlike illustrations follow the young adventurers through the story. Back matter includes volcano facts, discussion points, and how to do your own Great Volcano Challenge.
VERDICT A charming STEM chapter book introducing young readers to inspiring real-life science, scientists, and history. Highly recommended—and if you don’t have the series yet, purchase the collection.

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