THE BUG GIRL by Sarah Glenn Marsh

THE BUG GIRL

Maria Merian's Scientific Vision
by ; illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 7
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Young Maria Merian had a passion for butterflies and moths that led to a lifelong, convention-defining career of natural-history illustration.

When the young artist was growing up in 17th-century Germany, butterflies and moths were thought to arise through spontaneous generation and women interested in insects might be seen as witches. Still, Maria not only painted the insects she saw around her, she brought home silkworms and studied them, watching their metamorphosis and painting what she saw, including their favorite plants and flowers. Continuing to observe and paint from nature in her adult life, she also taught and published books of her illustrations, raised a family, and traveled as far as Suriname to explore the natural world. In contrast to Margarita Engle and Julie Paschkis’ Summer Birds (2010), in which a first-person narrative captures Maria’s childhood voice and joy in the natural world and the illustrations demonstrate the culture’s changing approach to nature, Marsh and Vanzo present a more distant, staid story for young readers. Vanzo’s illustrations, drawn with pencil and digitally colored, are modestly realistic, more so for the insects than humans (all white, including in Suriname). Sadly, the monarch butterflies that intrigue freckle-faced Maria in these images don’t exist in Germany. Even the title is unfortunate: Butterflies and moths are not bugs. An author’s note provides further information about this early naturalist. A few of the artist’s original illustrations are included and sourced, but no sources are given for other information.

Let this one fly away. (Picture book/biography. 4-7)

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2019
ISBN: 978-0-8075-9257-1
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Whitman
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1st, 2018




MORE BY SARAH GLENN MARSH

ChildrenNINITA'S BIG WORLD by Sarah Glenn Marsh
by Sarah Glenn Marsh
ChildrenA CAMPFIRE TAIL by Sarah Glenn Marsh
by Sarah Glenn Marsh
ChildrenREIGN OF THE FALLEN by Sarah Glenn Marsh
by Sarah Glenn Marsh

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenCAROLINE'S COMETS by Emily Arnold McCully
by Emily Arnold McCully
ChildrenSUMMER BIRDS by Margarita Engle
by Margarita Engle
ChildrenTHE BOY WHO DREW BIRDS by Jacqueline Davies
by Jacqueline Davies