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

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A perfect story to enjoy on a “no bones day.”

NOODLE AND THE NO BONES DAY

Graziano tells the story of his TikTok-famous pug, Noodle.

Noodle is a silly, stubborn old pug who likes walks and snacks. “He’s a pug who knows what he wants.” Jonathan, his light-skinned owner, loves taking Noodle for walks and sharing snacks—they are a perfect pair. But one day, when it’s time for a walk, Noodle just lies in his dog bed. Even when Jonathan tries to make Noodle sit up, Noodle flops back down. “It’s like he doesn’t have bones!” says Jonathan. Noodle doesn’t seem sick—he just wants snacks and to stay in bed. Finally, Jonathan asks if Noodle would just like to snuggle instead and receives a strong affirmative from the drowsy pug. Together Noodle and his human enjoy a relaxing “no bones day” and learn an important lesson about rest and why it matters for silly, stubborn old pugs and for the humans who love them, too. Many may already be familiar with Noodle through his TikTok videos (if Noodle remains standing when Graziano lifts him, it’s a “bones day”; among Noodle’s followers, a “no bones day” has come to mean a day for self-care and taking it easy). However, this story stands alone and will likely create new fans for a long time to come. Hand-drawn and painted digitally, Tavis’ illustrations rely on a muted palette and rounded images, depicting an appropriately cozy world. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A perfect story to enjoy on a “no bones day.” (author's note) (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: June 7, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-66592-710-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: May 11, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2022

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An unabashed love letter from mother.

I LOVE YOU, LITTLE POOKIE

From the Little Pookie series

A sweet celebration of the bond between a mother and her Pookie.

The eighth installment in this always charming series eschews the episodic drama and silliness of earlier outing such as Spooky Pookie (2015) in favor of a mom’s-eye-view celebration of her child and the time they spend together. There is, of course, nothing wrong with drama and silliness. But while the lack of conflict and plot in favor of unapologetic sentiment makes this book a quick read, that doesn’t make it any less endearing. The rhymed verse captures a mother’s wonder as she observes the many facets of her child’s personality: “Ah, Pookie. My little one. My funny one. My child. // Sometimes you are quiet. Sometimes you are wild.” On the simple joys of shared moments, she notes, “I love to go walking with you by my side. / I love when we sing when we go for a ride. // And I love just to watch as you think and you play. / The way that you are is a wonderful way.” Paired with author/illustrator Boynton’s irresistible renderings of a porcine mommy and her playful, snuggly little piglet, the result is impossible to fault. Whether quietly reading, running in a tiger suit, singing with mom in the car, ears flapping in the breeze, or enjoying the safety of mom’s embrace, Pookie’s appeal continues unabated.

An unabashed love letter from mother. (Board book. 1-4)

Pub Date: Dec. 4, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5344-3723-4

Page Count: 18

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Dec. 5, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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