Bugs Galore, written by Peter Stein, illustrated by Bob Staake, Candlewick Press 2012. Toddler to Preschool to Early Elementary.
It's Valentine's Day, so I gave my son a book: Bugs Galore. I definitely am not a fan of bugs. I will rescue any ladybug unlucky enough to end up in our house; I won't kill spiders if I know they are innocuous; and I'll even leave fire ant nests alone if there are in areas where no one walks -- they prey on termites; and if I'm outside and the bugs leave me alone, I will leave them alone, but that's pretty much is the extent of my affection for bugs. So, I wasn't really expecting to like a bug book. But I did. And more importantly, so did my four-year-old son. He called this a "beautiful bug book". The description is perfect.
We already have Cars Galore, and I really liked the writing in it. If possible, I like the writing in Bugs Galore even more. Peter Stein writes like he is reading out loud to a young child, which, of course, is the best way to write for young children. I don't know how he manages it, but his rhyming scheme and meter never feel forced or artificial. His text is so wonderfully picturesque that he just holds the door wide open for Bob Staake's illustrative wackiness to stomp right in. And it does.
Again, although I am NOT a bug person, I like the artwork in Bugs Galore even better than Cars Galore. Every page in Bugs Galore crawls with "beautiful bugs". There is a wonderful freedom in the sprawl of the crawling bugs that could not exist with cars on the road. I should point out that I am writing this review without having the book in front of me because my son took the "beautiful bug book" to his room and he won't let me have it back.