Bella Loves Bugs

Happy Yak. (Nature Heroes). Apr. 2022. 48p. $17.99. ISBN 9780711265622.
K-Gr 3–Bella and Billy take readers through an exciting day of bug- and bird-watching in these two lovely works of narrative nonfiction. They start at home where Bella describes how she’s keeping insects for a short time for observation, and Billy checks a nest cam for the progress of newly hatching baby birds. Then they each pack up for a walk, explaining all their gear. As they walk, they notice lots of different kinds of bugs and birds. They also make connections to animals worldwide that have similar characteristics. For example, when Billy finds a beautiful kingfisher feather, he explains how different kinds of feathers serve different purposes, followed by a page with a bird guide that demonstrates the spectacular coloring and shading of the peacock and scarlet macaw. Similarly, when Bella finds a butterfly, she can discuss the variety of the species, opposite a page that acts as a bug guide, listing butterflies from across the globe. There is a wealth of information about bugs and birds, including their eggs and nest-building habits, as well as a life cycle drawing of butterflies. The artwork is vibrant and colorful. Bella and Billy are cartoons and so are their funny sidekicks—a bird for Billy and a spider for Bella—but the guide pages have accurate depictions of these creatures: the birds behave like birds and the bugs behave like bugs, which will make it a useful addition to the nonfiction section of the library. It’s an enjoyable story, but a useful reference, too. Longer than the average picture book, the books can be dipped in and out of without sacrificing story lines.
VERDICT This engaging narrative nonfiction series will be a joy for the critter enthusiasts in any library.

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