cover image Buz


Richard Egielski. HarperCollins Publishers, $14.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-06-023566-6

Caldecott Medalist Egielski (Hey, Al; The Tub People) debuts as author in this droll adventure wherein a bug named Buz who is accidentally swallowed by a boy eating cornflakes. ""`Tsk, tsk, tsk,' said the doctor, `you caught a bug alright. I'm going to give you some pills. They'll get rid of that bug.'"" The pills-modeled after the Keystone Cops-chase the befuddled Buz through the boy's body (``Hey, you with the wings! Freeze!``), until the poor insect floats out of the boy's ear and into the bathtub, and then flies home. Exhausted, Buz visits a bug doctor who prescribes pills to ``get rid of that germ'' trapped inside his body. Egielski paints as if with a zoom lens, magnifying the mundane and creating a quirky, effectively claustrophic internal universe. Between the pill police and the hapless Buz, it is a toss-up whether children will get a grasp for the invisible workings of pills, germs and ``bugs,'' or if they will become confused. No matter-this book is still great fun to read and to look at. Ages 3-7. (Sept.)