Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Buggy for Books

As gardens spring to life, so does the wild and wonderful world of wigglies!  This amazing miniature world is mirrored so cunningly in the pages of these books, each in their own special way.

Stories from Bug Garden by Lisa Moser, illustrated by Gwen Millward (Candlewick).
Bee sat on a lilac branch and watched the clouds.
"Shouldn't you fly around?" asked Dragonfly."
"Shouldn't you sip nectar from the flowers?" asked Lightning Bug.
"Shouldn't you make honey?" asked Horsefly.
"I don't want to do any of those things," said Bee.
"What do you want to do, then?"
Bee settled back to watch the clouds.
"Just be," said Bee.
An abundance of friendship, gentle wisdom and well-developed characters are coupled with busy and whimsical ink, watercolor and pencil illustrations.  These sweet vignettes will inspire looking at all things that fly and crawl and buzz and wiggle with new eyes.

A Beetle is Shy by Dianna Hutts Aston, illustrated by Sylvia Long (Chronicle).  "A beetle is kaleidoscopic," the text asserts, and the aboslutely gorgeous and colorful illustrations confirm.  The latest in the breathtaking series (A Seed is Sleepy, An Egg is Quiet, A Nest is Noisy, A Butterfly is Patient, A Rock is Lively, and every volume is worthwhile), this is like paging through a talented naturalist's notebook, with critters so realistic you'd barely blink to see them crawl off the page.  The text reads like poetry and I challenge you not to learn something along the other words, nonfiction perfection.

Gary's Garden by Gary Northfield (Scholastic).  This small-print graphic novel sleeper is a surprise gem that will be well-liked by any elementary-aged kid, following the adventures of the residents of a particular plot of land...who knew so many zany and intense adventures might be happening in our own backyards? The pests have tons of personality, and the Pokémon-like cards at the back of the book attest to the superlative qualities of the characters.  I hope to see this cast again in a sequel with the anticipation one usually reserves for springtime.

Links for information.  Please support your local independent bookseller.

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