Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Chants of the Praying Mantises through the Barks

‘The Chants of the Praying Mantises through the Barks’, a new educational book for children, written by May Green, tells about two young praying mantises, Orwell and Ruben, who attend the acclaimed Tulip School. At the school, they study under Oscar, who is also a praying mantis, but he is also a Professor. While at school, the two brothers realize they are students. They learn about their function and their position and the positions of other related species in the natural world, how their traits are the product of evolution and how their character in the world has interesting similarities to that of human evolution and progress.

Humans have the ability to be constructive and reconstruct, if necessary, in order to survive, while remaining in touch with their own instincts. Another key message of the book is that survival skills are of the utmost importance, whereby civil and constructive means are, always at hand, if chosen to implement. Furthermore, one point made clear, is that humans seek out goodness, in spite of threats, and they attempt ‘reconciliation’ if foreseeable. However, humans appear to resort to sadism when diplomatic ties fall short, which they must learn to adjust or they will fall behind in the very progress they attempt to make. As the story proceeds to unfold, how our very maintenance structures play a vital role is illustrated in this process and what we choose to do pertaining, matters to the paramount.

The term ‘praying mantis’ originates from the Greek word ‘prophecy or soothsayer’, which accentuates the essence of the story. The story centers on constructive and evolutionary development; where the following concept surfaces: we all have the ability to guide and lead ourselves in spite of any and whatever impositions we encounter. This serves as the fundamental theme of the story.

The praying mantises learn their vital skills in order to ensure their survival. Instincts and traits are linked to their species survival in tandem with two human children, Olive and Oliver. The story focuses on themes of science, human thought, cognition, intellectual reasoning, and societal conditioning which often hinder the ability to grow intellectually and autonomously. For instance, Olive and Oliver were told they must train in something in order to survive in hope to nourish and live a long life. Oliver challenges that thought and chooses not to train in important and vital ways for himself. Whereas, and on the other hand, Olive definitely realized through training, she needed to determine her own self, rather than, lend herself to another's disposal, and develops from an inquisitive child with great aspirations to a more self-aware adult, which emphasizes a type of evolutionary growth that we all can have.

‘The Chants of the Praying Mantises through the Barks,’ is a learning story presented as a children's story which has allowed for a presentation of a unique look at humanity that is easy to understand. As well, the story is entertaining with unique praying mantis students who have a strong desire to learn about the world and all the species that inhabit it. Moreover, it is a book that imparts an interesting insight into our own natural instincts and how these instincts are not just to ensure survival of each species, but also allows us to grow intellectually and make better life choices without feeling the pressure of external influences who want to define our place and purpose in the world. It is filled with symbolism and dialogue that children of about the ages of nine to twelve will be able to follow and understand.

‘The Chants of the Praying Mantises through the Barks,’ is highly recommended as a very thought provoking story with colorful characters. It is a story that children will enjoy reading.

Tracy Roberts, Write Field Services


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