Kirkus Reviews QR Code
BUG BOYS by Laura Knetzger


Adventures and Daydreams

From the Bug Boys series, volume 3

by Laura Knetzger ; illustrated by Laura Knetzger

Pub Date: May 31st, 2022
ISBN: 978-0-593-30952-0
Publisher: Random House Graphic

Two beetle BFFs return for more adventures in nature.

In this third graphic installment, best beetle buds Rhino-B and Stag-B explore the wondrous world around them in nine bite-sized vignettes. In “Love Letter,” the duo finds an intriguing canister embedded amid tree roots and, inside, a richly imagined missive from its mysterious author, Scorpio. They realize that the letter may have never found its reader but in a poignant moment, relish the marvel of a fanciful daydream. In “The Cooking Competition,” the pair face off, each determined to win the Bug Village cooking contest. When their desire to win eclipses the meaning of the event, the bugs learn that collaboration can outweigh competition. “The Mountain Journey” takes readers along on an arduous hike with the beetles as an argument brews. Once the friends discuss their feelings, they can quietly contemplate and enjoy the natural beauty around them. Knetzger’s simply wrought tales use straightforward naming conventions (most of the insects are named for their species) alongside an uncomplicated full-color palette of muted, dreamy tones, emphasizing the evocative nature and thematic focus of each piece. These introspective tales (which can be read nonlinearly) are slowly and deliberately paced, not demanding that readers rush; those who appreciate more pensive, meditative tales will find much to savor here.

A winsome fantasy bubbling with gentle whimsy.

(bonus comic, extra art, cover sketches) (Graphic fantasy. 8-12)