There's a Bug in My Blossom

Get a closer view of a variety of insects and plants in this bright, engaging children’s book.
Featuring a handful of animals, including a cat who implores readers to explore the insects and plants around them, this educational book dives quickly into descriptions of common and not-so-common crawling creatures—carpenter bees and their wood-boring habits, grasshoppers, wolf spiders, walking sticks and even predatory lizards. There are also discussions on the effects of pesticides on insects, dying bee colonies, how bugs help pollinate plants, butterfly coloration and more—overall, a well-rounded look at flora-related fauna. Donaho’s debut children’s book boasts clear, brightly colored photos that immerse readers in the insects’ habitats. Vibrant and engaging, they add a special touch. The prose, however, may be a bit too advanced for younger children, who will nonetheless enjoy the pictures of bugs; accompanied by an adult, grade schoolers will still learn a great deal. Easy questions located on the photo pages mesh nicely with the more advanced writing on the text pages. The only real weak spots are the bookending quotes from various animals (ranging from an exotic primate to an ordinary squirrel) that don’t add much: “Wow! Did you see all those bugs?” “Yes, and all we had to do was look!” While children will love the animal pictures, more insect-related photos interspersed among the text would have been a welcome addition. The book also offers tips on how to look for insects in flowers in readers’ own backyards—a nice inclusion sure to inspire some afternoon exploring.

One part education and one part entertainment, this vibrant book will delight readers of all ages, from bug beginners to almost-entomologists.

Pub Date: May 23, 2014

ISBN: 978-1493604067

Page Count: 54

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Aug. 7, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Uncomplicated fun that sets readers up for the earlier, more-complicated books to come.

LITTLE BLUE TRUCK'S SPRINGTIME

From the Little Blue Truck series

Little Blue Truck and his pal Toad meet friends old and new on a springtime drive through the country.

This lift-the-flap, interactive entry in the popular Little Blue Truck series lacks the narrative strength and valuable life lessons of the original Little Blue Truck (2008) and its sequel, Little Blue Truck Leads the Way (2009). Both of those books, published for preschoolers rather than toddlers, featured rich storylines, dramatic, kinetic illustrations, and simple but valuable life lessons—the folly of taking oneself too seriously, the importance of friends, and the virtue of taking turns, for example. At about half the length and with half as much text as the aforementioned titles, this volume is a much quicker read. Less a story than a vernal celebration, the book depicts a bucolic drive through farmland and encounters with various animals and their young along the way. Beautifully rendered two-page tableaux teem with butterflies, blossoms, and vibrant pastel, springtime colors. Little Blue greets a sheep standing in the door of a barn: “Yoo-hoo, Sheep! / Beep-beep! / What’s new?” Folding back the durable, card-stock flap reveals the barn’s interior and an adorable set of twin lambs. Encounters with a duck and nine ducklings, a cow with a calf, a pig with 10 (!) piglets, a family of bunnies, and a chicken with a freshly hatched chick provide ample opportunity for counting and vocabulary work.

Uncomplicated fun that sets readers up for the earlier, more-complicated books to come. (Board book. 1-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-544-93809-0

Page Count: 16

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: March 4, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

Hee haw.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 12

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • IndieBound Bestseller

THE WONKY DONKEY

The print version of a knee-slapping cumulative ditty.

In the song, Smith meets a donkey on the road. It is three-legged, and so a “wonky donkey” that, on further examination, has but one eye and so is a “winky wonky donkey” with a taste for country music and therefore a “honky-tonky winky wonky donkey,” and so on to a final characterization as a “spunky hanky-panky cranky stinky-dinky lanky honky-tonky winky wonky donkey.” A free musical recording (of this version, anyway—the author’s website hints at an adults-only version of the song) is available from the publisher and elsewhere online. Even though the book has no included soundtrack, the sly, high-spirited, eye patch–sporting donkey that grins, winks, farts, and clumps its way through the song on a prosthetic metal hoof in Cowley’s informal watercolors supplies comical visual flourishes for the silly wordplay. Look for ready guffaws from young audiences, whether read or sung, though those attuned to disability stereotypes may find themselves wincing instead or as well.

Hee haw. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: May 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-545-26124-1

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Dec. 29, 2018

Did you like this book?

more