Hank's Big Day: The Story of a Bug

illus. by Chuck Groenink. 40p. Random/Schwartz & Wade. Sept. 2016. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780553511505. POP
PreS-Gr 2—It's a simple life for Hank the pill bug: he awakens from under his home beneath a rock, shimmies through the tall grass, nibbles on leaves, plays dead to avoid a scary grasshopper, and meets new and old friends among the mushrooms and sticks. Hank's life gets much more exciting, however, when he meets a new friend, Amelia, who makes Hank her copilot as she soars over the Atlantic Ocean in her airplane! Hank climbs aboard her helmet as they zip through the yard, letting Hank see his world in a whole new way. Running, zooming, and flying through the grass, they wave to the queen of England and barely miss the Eiffel Tower! All that action makes them hungry, so they stop at a café, Le Velvet Bug, to enjoy a snack before voyaging back to America. Amelia and Hank make a daring landing back home, where they reflect on their special and imaginative adventure as new friends. Back across the sidewalk, past the grasshopper, and down the stick, Hank arrives home, where he nestles again at last. This thrilling selection is an ideal choice for storytime. Whimsical mixed-media illustrations enhance the playful appeal of the tale. This debut picture book features a strong female character of color.
VERDICT A lively suburban romp that captures the essence of friendship and play, with text and thoughtful details that are interspersed evenly enough to hold the attention of younger readers.

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