Bugs! Bugs! Bugs! by Bob Barner brings a Brag

Jan 5, 2001
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Educational and fun


Once again I love Scholastic Books. Bought this book last go around for my monkey girl for 95 cents. I just found the same book in hardcover for 10.95 on Amazon. I had never heard of the book or the author before but Bob Barner's Bugs! Bugs! Bugs! has made a big splash in our house.

The book

Not really a plot, this book is more of a rhyme about different bugs. Not to confuse bugs with insects -- for in this book butterflies, ladybugs, daddy longlegs (not an insect), grasshoppers, caterpillars, bees, ants, and roly-poly bugs (not an insect) are all mentioned. Each two page spread is one line from the poem like A fuzzy caterpillar with tiny feet while the next two page spread finishes the rhyme Bees buzzing by flowers that smell so sweet.

Each two-page spread is illustrated with comical insects acting out the action described by the poem. Bright colors are used with the words being splashed across the two pages. The pictures make all the bugs look friendly and fun.

At the end of the book are the educational pages. One spread is entitled Actual Size Bugs when all the bugs are still drawn in a friendly --not 100 percent accurate-- style; however, they are all drawn to scale. The other spread is the Bug-O-Meter which is a handy chart. Across the page are listed all the bugs in the book by picture and words; down the side are the following questions:

Can it fly?
Where does it live?
How many legs?
Does it sting?

The answers are written plainly and simply in the squares in the chart.

My take

What kid does not like bugs? I know I spent much of last summer turning over heavy rocks for monkey girl on her search for worms and roly-polys. (Luckily she doesn't take after Phil and Lil on the Rugrats and eat them). Unfortunately right now snow is covering all the rocks so she's missing her friends.

When I saw this book I just had to order it for her. The poem of the book is a great way to start naming the bugs. Instead of just saying "It's a bug."; she can now refer to the bug in the bathroom as "There's a daddy longlegs in my bathtub" (No comment on my housekeeping ability)

The poem flows and the illustrations would keep the attention of a young child. But the words used are easy enough for a beginner reader to attempt with confidence. It is rare in my opinion for a book to work for a broad range.

The Actual size page is great for working on "bigger than" or "smaller than". For example: I ask monkey girl what's the biggest bug (the butterfly) and then I can ask her "who is smaller than the butterfly??"

I can see using the Bug-O-Meter page more as she grows up to discuss the different bugs. We could use the line of "How many legs?" to help her decide which are insects based only on that information. The one flaw I see with this book is that it would have been more useful if there were pictures in the box to go with the words for "Where does it live?" (Ex: little flowers next to "Near flowers" for the butterfly). But that's a small point.

I don't think this is a must have book -- but for a fun little book that educates at the same time, Bob Barner has done well with Bugs! Bugs! Bugs! If your little one has you turning over rocks to find bugs, I know they will love this book.

<Mother brag alert>

I saved this part for last so it would be easy to skip if you aren't interested in a mother's brag. But monkey girl isn't three until next month. A few days ago was when I first got this book out to read it to her. I read the first row in the Bug-O-Meter to her "Can it fly? Yes, Yes, No, Yes, No, Yes, No, No". She took the book from me and pointed to each word in the row and said each "Yes" or "No" correctly. I instantly thought, "That's cute, she can memorize and mimic."

Then she went down to the line "Does it sting?" (which neither I nor anyone else have ever read to her) and pointed to each word in that row and read it correctly "No, No, No, No, No, Yes, Yes, No" I was in shock.

So to test her I wrote a bunch of words on a paper -- mainly yes and no, her name, "cat", "stop" and "girl". She "missed" stop and girl.

If it wasn't for this book, I would have no clue she can "read" at least a few words. So thanks Bob Barner for giving me the tool to let me know.

<Mother brag alert off>

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