On Saturday, the 1st day of spring, Zak and his dog Ziggy go to meet their friend Ivy at the boat rental office so they can go fishing in the nearby river. As it turns out, fishing falls by the wayside and they end up blowing bubbles instead. To their amazement, a giant bubble appears in the sky bearing none other than Professor Aquius Botanicus Angelicus of Quantia – the Rainbow Planet!
“The creature was clearly not of this world, though he had an almost human air about him. He was slender and a little bit taller than the children. His immense, egg-shaped head was tipped with a thin, grass-green beard on his chin, and bushy green eyebrows over huge, almond-shaped, aquamarine eyes – the color of the sea! [Note: The professor’s eyes turn different colors depending upon his mood.] But the oddest things about him were his long ears. They were bright green – all four of them! The two outer ears hung down on the side of his head and the other two grew up from the top alongside a green-stemmed antenna with a golden yellow tip, like a flower. Clenched in his pearly white teeth was a long pipe with three large bird feathers hanging from the bowl. Along the step of the pipe was a row of ten little buttons, each one a different color, and they were all blinking on and off.”
Professor Angelicus has come to Earth (or the Big Blue Ball as he calls it) in search of pure, clean water to refuel his bubble machine so that he can get home to Quantia in time for the Rainbow Festival. Zak, Ivy and Ziggy agree to help him find the water and board the Professor’s bubble to head off on an amazing journey that takes them to a city, a bay, the ocean, The Palace of Memories, the rain forest and the ice world. They meet a delightful array of characters on their travels including Harry the King crab, Mikey & Ralph the turkey buzzards, Countess Monique ze Monarch, Tantra the turtle, Borrell the Imposter: a giant tick, Serena the dolphin and her calf, Chakra, Daido the frog, Reiki the black panther, Seetasha the whale and the unbelievable Prime Minister Popadopadon, whose cousin just happens to be the Loch Ness Monster!
Throughout their adventure, Zak, Ivy and Ziggy learn about Sharelings, Quantia, and the universe from the Professor and they teach him about the ecological state of Planet Earth. They are shocked and dismayed by what they encounter and learn that significant change comes in baby steps.
Professor Angelicus Visits The Big Blue Ball is an enchanting, intelligent and magical tale about how important it is to have a moral conscience when it comes to how we treat our planet and all those who live on it. It teaches children about sharing, caring and taking action towards living a greener life, and helping to preserve wildlife and all of Earth’s natural resources: most significantly, its water.
L.B.B. Ward’s thoughtful and highly imaginative story flows like liquid elixir from The Fountain of Youth. Appropriate for children ages 8-12 (but to be read to those ages 3-93), it should be required reading for every public school child, as they will certainly fall in love with the Land of Sparkle. The book is illustrated with wonderful black and white drawings at the beginning of every chapter by painter, muralist, and documentary filmmaker Coulter Watt.
Professor Angelicus Visits The Big Blue Ball should be a bestseller. Its message of the importance of the interconnectedness of all living things is beautifully and creatively demonstrated within its pages and it keeps you thinking and smiling, long after the final page is read and the light is switched off.