Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Picture Book Review: Bugs Don't Hug:

Image: Charlesbridge

Bugs Don't Hug: six-legged parents and their kids by Heather L. Montgomery. Illustrated by Stephen Stone. unpgd. Charlesbridge, September, 2018. 9781580898164. (Review of finished copy courtesy of publisher.)

When I think of animal parenting, my first thoughts are not of bugs. If I do contemplate insect parenting, I assume that baby insects are on their own a la Charlotte's egg sac. Females provide the environment and either die or leave. Not so, as Heather L. Montgomery's droll book instructs.

She takes a familiar human parenting activity, such as scrambling eggs or changing dirty diapers, only Stephen Stone's cartoon illustrations humorously depict a variety of anthropomorphized insects doing the activity. The page-turn reveals how the "real" insect performs a similar function in real life. Though cartoons, these are surprisingly nuanced. 

The final spread features an inter-racial couple tucking their apparently insect-obsessed "love bug" into bed. All the featured insects are piled into the child's toy box.

Back matter includes thumbnails of each insect, including it's common and scientific names along with more information. This is followed by four book recommendations for readers interested in more information and an author's note explaining her choices about language in her storytelling as well as an invitation to parents to encourage fascination over the world of insects.

What a lovely, playful introduction to all things buggy. Bugs Don't  Hug would make for a fun read aloud. A great addition to home, school, public or classroom libraries. 

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