NEVER SAY UGH TO A BUG by Norma Farber


Email this review


After several more-or-less self-conscious picture-book-length stories in verse, Farber applies her polished wit to 20 short light verses about very small creatures. By far the longest entry, at 80 lines, reports on the poet's conversation with a ""left-winged cricket"" who bemoans his difference from the others, who lead with their right wings. Her answer, the gist unsurprising, is that "". . . You've simply burst the boundaries/ of that which crickets do!/ By your bold innovation/ all cricketdom is freed./ I'll have to write a verse or two/ to celebrate your deed."" There are several little songs--of a water-skater to her children, a praying mantis to hers, the poet to a ladybug, or a spittlebug to anyone: ""My eggs are snug/ says the spittlebug.// On a grass, on a stem/ I bundle them/ in a swaddle-cloth/ of downy froth.// They hatch in foam./ For them it's home.// Some eggs lie plain/ on grass, on grain./ I hide my little/seeds in spittle."" Like the spittlebug rhyme, many are clever, and well formed for reading aloud. Rarely if ever do they really take off in any direction, and in general they require an audience a little beyond the preschool level suggested by the picture-book format and Aruego's playful illustrations. Still, the fun sounds and waggish conceits make them brighter than most original light verse at this level.

Pub Date: April 2nd, 1979
Publisher: Greenwillow