The Secret Life of Bugs

Happy Yak. (Stars of Nature). Mar. 2024. 48p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9780711286559.
Gr 3-6–The fifth title in the “Stars of Nature” series explores insects, their habitats, interesting facts, and folklore with a cheerful ladybug, Luna, navigating the way. Luna describes types of insects and their body structure, and holds competitions for the best habitat builders. Comparisons between the largest and smallest bugs, as well as the most gruesome, are sure to delight and inspire. Minekar’s bright art is beautifully crisp, a mixed digital output of watercolor and gouache that invites a close look. Design and graphic choices create movement on each page, with a “Teeny-Tiny Bug Fact” leaf for each spread of insect facts. Interspersed is folklore from around the globe; each tale propels Luna into a new segment of the bug world. In South Africa’s “Why the Ants Can Never Win,” the ants’ folly segues into the value of insects to the food chain and environment. This expansive approach from a microscopic to the whole world is quite effective. A table of contents page is included as is phonetic spelling for some, but not all, complex words.
VERDICT Highly recommended for all collections serving elementary students, this is a fantastic journey into bug land.

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