What's That Sound, Woolly Bear?

Philemon Sturges, Author, Joan Paley, Illustrator Little Brown and Company $14.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-316-82021-9
Sturges's (Ten Flashing Fireflies) latest foray into the insect world never really takes wing. Woolly Bear, a stubby caterpillar sort, quietly searches high and low for a ""snug place to sleep,"" but she can't escape the cacophony created by such buggy friends as cricket, deerfly and water bug. At last, Woolly Bear finds the perfect patch of leaves, and spins a bed from which she will emerge, amazingly transformed into a tiger moth. Sturges's slight and quiet story line is at odds with the laundry list of simplified bug behavior (""Some bumble,"" ""Some bugs chirp"") that buzzes around it. However an ""About Bugs"" final spread successfully blends succinct information and colorful fun facts. Making her picture book debut, Paley serves up outsize collages with in-your-face perspectives, graphically showcasing such onomatopoeic words as ""whif-whaf,"" ""zik"" and ""swak"" to great effect. Her combination of cut-paper and sprayed paint virtually whirrs with life, and provides a pulsating energy that the text simply does not match. Ages 4-8. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1996
Release date: 04/01/1996
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