Bug

Bug
Robyn Koontz and Amy Proud
Sterling

Bug, so named because of her passion for bugs – spotting them and drawing them – finds it hard to concentrate in her maths lessons. Instead, her teacher often catches her doodling and staring outside thinking about her favourite creatures.

When Mrs Muskie tells the class that they can plan a trip to the science museum, so long as everyone does well in the maths test the following day, encouraged by her friend Jasper on their way home, Bug determines to do her best.

Sitting in the field near her school, the little girl tries hard to concentrate on maths but finds herself distracted by buzzy bees, tickly gnats, dragonflies and butterflies, which of course, she cannot resist drawing in her sketchbook.

When she notices crickets on a log in two groups, these too become objects for sketching.

But then, Bug realises that instead of a distraction, her minibeast drawings can help her understand her maths – good on you Bug – and she proceeds to use her pictures of butterflies, ants and crickets as visual aids.

I absolutely love the way that back in her classroom next day, during the test, Bug comes to the aid of her teacher when her lucky crickets become a bit too lively, escaping from her lunch box and landing in Mrs Muskie’s hair,

calmly leading her outside, collecting up the offending creatures from the field and proceeding to prove to her teacher that she was doing as she’d been told ‘showing her thinking’ on her paper, which she hands over for checking.

Congratulations are the order of the day and Mrs Muskie is as good as her word …

There’s plenty of gentle humour both in Robin Koontz’s text and Amy Proud’s enchanting illustrations executed in pencil and acrylics that are likely to make budding entomologists out of all young children (although I’ve yet to come across one who isn’t fascinated by minibeasts).

A smashing book.

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