THE BUG COLLECTOR by Alex G. Griffiths


Age Range: 3 - 5
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Together, George and Grandad figure out the best way to enjoy bugs.

George is a blond, white child who excitedly accompanies white-bearded Grandad on a trip to the Museum of Wildlife. The big-eyed, cartoony characters move quickly past large-animal displays to Grandad’s favorite room, which is crowded with framed specimens of “creatures much smaller and stranger, and Grandad loved them.” George returns home, dreaming of all kinds of bugs, and sets off the next day to find bugs and collect them. Comical scenes depict him failing at early attempts, but he finally becomes a “master bug catcher,” storing all manner of live bugs in glass containers with holes in the lids. Oddly, the contraption used for grabbing a butterfly looks lethal despite George’s self-admonishment of “CAREFULLY!” In what seems to be a very short time, George admires his specimens—stored in his treehouse—then goes home to dinner, noticing as he does that something is off in his garden. Next day, Grandad confirms George’s realization that all the bugs are gone from the now-sick garden. There ensues a double-page spread of lecturing from Grandad, after which George sadly releases the bugs. Grandad redeems both characters with a suggestion that eventually creates something far better than the bug room at the museum. The final, joyous double-page spread—which includes kids of varying skin tones—makes the final sentence as unnecessary as swatting a long-dead fly.

Cute art but buggy text. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: April 7th, 2020
ISBN: 978-1-5415-9634-4
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Andersen Press USA
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 2020