A perky tale of a girl, Amanda Frankenstein (yes, Frankenstein) who persists in an unpopular fascination with bugs. This sweet-natured book is a happy marriage of pastel-toned, somewhat cartoony art with nicely paced, quietly humorous (though a bit longish) text. Amanda likes to observe live insects; she collects dead ones. She dreams of bugs; she draws bugs. She tries to confuse bats; she protects ants. She thoughtfully releases her brother's fireflies; she carefully steps around spider webs (this is a curious custom, since spiders are not technically insects and, in fact, eat bugs). Already a family pariah, Amanda further invites ostracism when she wears an ""Amanda Frankenstein: Friend of Bugs"" T-shirt on the first day of school. Even boys (McDonald is conscientiously breaking stereotypes here) are put off by her mania for insects. All's well that ends well. Happily, in school she finds a soul mate, an equally single-minded African-American girl, who, with similar dedication asserts that ""Reptiles are my life!"" Predictable, but gratifying.