Case of Sense, A

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Case of Sense, A
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.

This fictional story includes a 4-page For Creative Minds section in the back of the book and a 23-page cross-curricular Teaching Activity Guide online. A Case of Sense is vetted by experts and designed to encourage parental engagement. Its extensive back matter helps teachers with time-saving lesson ideas, provides extensions for science, math, and social studies units, and uses inquiry-based learning to help build critical thinking skills in young readers. The Spanish translation supports ELL and dual-language programs. The interactive ebook reads aloud in both English and Spanish with word highlighting and audio speed control to promote oral language skills, fluency, pronunciation, text engagement, and reading comprehension. Tap animals and other things that make noise to hear their sounds.

Written by Songju Ma Daemicke, Illustrated by Shennen Bersani
32 pg, 8.5x10, Ages 4-8, Grades K-3, Lexile: AD 550L, AR: 3.3, F&P: M
Hardcover 9781628558524 $17.95  
Paperback 9781628558531 $9.95  
Spanish Paperback 9781628558548 $11.95  
Chinese Paperback 9781607187332 $11.95  
EBook 9781628558579 Purchase Here
Spanish EBook 9781628558586 Purchase Here
Chinese EBook 9781607187356 Purchase Here
Keywords:   community, logic, senses (hearing, smell), diffusion, Chinese folktale
Vetters:   Thanks to Rachel Carpenter, Education Manager of The Children’s Discovery Museum of Normal, IL, for verifying the accuracy of the information in this book.


Bersani’s illustrations feature a wonderfully diverse cast of men and women of primarily Asian descent, although Fu Wang looks a bit like a stereotypical villain. The text on each page can be lengthy but the vocabulary is appropriate for a mid-elementary-school audience, who will get the most out of the tale; classroom-activity pages about the five senses, as well as a science experiment about diffusion, follow the text.
-Kirkus Reviews

Picture books draw readers in whether they're kids or adults, and Shennen Bersani's charming illustrations are colorful and to the point. - Jemez Thunder

"A Case of Sense" retells a teaching tale from Chinese traditions about a greedy neighbor, Fu Wang, who tried to collect money from his neighbors for the delicious smells of his cooking, as witnessed by a boy named Ming, who was playing with his dog in the street.
-Midwest Book Review

Author/Illustrator Info:

Songju Ma Daemicke grew up in Jilin, China, where she enjoyed listening to the stories her grandparents told. Songju moved to the United States in 1996. After obtaining a master's degree in computer science, she worked as a software engineer until her twin daughters were born. Songju has always excelled in math and has recently gravitated back to her early love of literature and stories. A Case of Sense is her debut picture book. Songju lives in Illinois with her husband and their daughters. Visit her website at

Shennen Bersani is an award-winning illustrator with 2 million copies of her books cherished and read by children, parents, and teachers throughout the world. Her art delivers heartfelt emotion, the wonders of nature and science, and creates a unique joy for learning. Some of Shennen's other illustrated works include River Otter's Adventures; Night Creepers; Cheetah Dreams; Animal Partners; Astro: The Steller Sea Lion; Home in the Cave; The Glaciers are Melting!; Once Upon an Elephant (CBC Children's Choice Book Award); Salamander Season; Sea Slime: It’s Eeuwy, Gooey and Under the Sea; The Shape Family Babies; and Shark Baby for Arbordale. She is also the author and illustrator of Achoo! Why Pollen Counts. Shennen lives with her family near Boston. Visit her website at


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