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by Betty Kohlman & illustrated by Julie Kulak

Pub Date: Jan. 5th, 2012
ISBN: 978-1468532340
Publisher: AuthorHouse

Kohlman's picture book celebrates the differences that make each creature—or person—unique while providing interesting insect facts.

The book opens with a baseball game between Cricket and Grasshopper. When Grasshopper throws a ball that hits Cricket on the knee, he cries, "You hit my ear." Grasshopper is confused until Cricket explains that he hears through his knees and has special teeth on his wings that make him sing. This leads to a series of encounters with other insects in which Grasshopper asks what is different about their bodies. His list of features grows to include Fly tasting through his feet, Ant lifting hundreds of times his body weight and Caterpillar having more muscles than a human. But while Grasshopper finds his friends' abilities interesting, he wonders what makes him special. After a long day of fact-gathering, he returns home and asks his mother what his species can do to distinguish themselves. She reminds him that he can jump 20 times his body length and that a not-too-distant cousin has ears on his knees too. Grasshopper is content with that knowledge and is able to rest easily that night, while listening to Cricket's teeth create a song. The idea that everyone is unique takes on a new dimension in the insect world. The simple story structure and wealth of information will keep readers coming back, excited to commit more of these amazing facts to memory. It would have been beneficial for readers to see Grasshopper discover his uniqueness through his own actions instead of asking his mother for an explanation. The note of parental reassurance is nice, but it makes for a more empowering story when the character and readers have some sense of the discovery first, before the adults step in.

A fun way to blend facts about bugs with a classic children's fiction theme.