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BUG PATROL by Denise Dowling Mortensen


by Denise Dowling Mortensen & illustrated by Cece Bell

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: Feb. 12th, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-618-79024-1
Publisher: Clarion

A bug’s busy day highlights the many varied jobs of a police officer.

In rollicking rhymes with spot-on rhythms, Mortensen presents her hero: “9 A.M. / Behind the wheel, / riding in / my Bug Mobile. / Coffee, cruller, / cruise control. / I’m Captain Bob, / Bug Patrol.” Sound-effect balloons contain the radio messages from the dispatcher sending him to trouble spots: the ant swarm at the donut, beetle parking troubles, speeding spiders on low riders, a picket line at the Roach Motel, a lost baby flea and some crickets partying too loudly. While Capt. Bob’s solutions may not completely reflect real life—the ants get lectured about rudeness and helping ants in need—they are creative: Capt. Bob gives the picketing roaches a ride to more suitable accommodations…at the landfill. Challenging vocabulary will stretch readers' knowledge while giving them the context and picture clues they need to decipher them—perpetrators, urban, picket line, dignified—though some humor is clearly meant to tickle adult readers’ funny bones. Bell’s acrylic-and-ink illustrations nicely echo the tongue-in-cheek tone of the text. Her bugs wear clothes, drive cars and have fully expressive faces—the bad-boy natures of those speeding spiders are easy to discern. The speckled texture in her artwork lends itself nicely to all the scenes, whether urban street, bright green grass or fur on the back of a dog.

A fun spoof. (Picture book. 4-8)