Title: Nice Nathan (The Good Gnat Who Never Bothered Nobody No More!); and Nasty Nathan (The No-Good Gnat Who Never Listened to Nobody!)
Author and Illustrator: Robert Djed Snead
Publisher: Moon Water Products
ISBN: 0-9769033-1-8 (Nice Nathan); 0-9769033-0-X (Nasty Nathan)
Year: 2009 (Nice Nathan); 2005 (Nasty Nathan)
Concepts: choices, opportunity cost.
Review: Once upon a time a nasty gnat named Nathan never listened to anyone, not even his parents or the wise elders in his community. Instead, Nathan chose to act out and bother whoever he could find with his buzzing and biting. His actions caused Mr. Giraffe to become tied up in a knot, Mr. Lion to get all scratched up, and Mr. Monkey to fall out of a tree. Nasty Nathan, however, was so busy laughing about this that he did not realize his actions would have consequences, and he wound up stuck in Mrs. Spider's web. Would Mrs. Spider enjoy a tasty meal, or would Nathan have a second chance and redeem himself? Young readers find out the answer in the sequel, Nice Nathan.
This two-part "aesop retold" series presents young readers with an interesting opportunity to think about choices and opportunity cost, concepts that are included amongst the benchmark standards in economics in the early grades. Readers will quickly see that choices have consequences that need to be taken into account in the decision-making process. The entertaining question for young children is if Nathan will learn this lesson in time.
Review by: Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children