BREAKOUT AT THE BUG LAB by Ruth Horowitz

BREAKOUT AT THE BUG LAB

by , illustrated by
Age Range: 6 - 9

KIRKUS REVIEW

The first page of this easy reader sets the tone for a very funny story narrated by an unnamed boy whose entomologist mother works at a complex of scientific research labs, working with insects in the bug lab. “She studies dung beetles. They eat animal poop!” (What second-grader could resist that?) This cool scientist-Mom also has a large pet cockroach named Max (a Madagascan hissing cockroach, as we learn in the author’s biographical note) that she keeps in her lab. The narrator and his brother are visiting the science labs to attend a special dedication ceremony when Max, the cockroach, escapes from his glass tank. The two boys manage to trap him with the help of Ruby L. Gold, the benefactor of the science labs, a gray-haired older lady who is most definitely not afraid of bugs (or boisterous little boys, either). The positive images of women are just one commendable aspect of this story, written at the 2.1 reading level, with short sentences, large type, and plenty of white space surrounding the text (which is divided into short chapters). Holub’s (Why Do Dogs Bark, p. 110, etc.) watercolor, acrylic, and gouache paintings add to the humor, especially her illustrations of the buggy-eyed Max. Horowitz (Crab Moon, 2000, etc.) injects lots of droll wit and sly puns into the tale, along with interesting bits of information about insects and scientific work. New readers will enjoy this on their own, but the story will also work well as a read-aloud in first- and second-grade classrooms. (Easy reader. 6-9)

Pub Date: May 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-8037-2510-8
Page count: 48pp
Publisher: Dial
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2001




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