cover image There Ain't No Bugs on Me [With Rollicking Folksongs]

There Ain't No Bugs on Me [With Rollicking Folksongs]

Jerry Garcia. HarperCollins, $15.95 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-06-028142-7

A lighthearted ditty arranged and performed by musicians Grisman and the late Grateful Dead guitarist Garcia makes a less-than-harmonious transition into picture-book text. The refrain ""There ain't no bugs on me,/ There ain't no bugs on me./ There may be bugs on some of you mugs,/ But there ain't no bugs on me"" alternates with different cheerful stanzas (e.g., ""Well, the Juney bug comes in the month of June,/ The lightning bug comes in May,/ The bedbug comes just any old time,/ But they're not going to stay""). While the lyrics are fun to say (or sing), they're not linear, and they don't tell or imply a story. Whatley, previously teamed with Garcia and Grisman for The Teddy Bears' Picnic, reunites that teddy-bear cast to supply a broad plot line here. His cheery watercolors show the bears as musicians heading out on tour and meeting a variety of insects and other creatures along the way. Their leader, a bespectacled, white-muzzled bruin sporting a guitar with a rainbow strap, is a ringer for Garcia, and indeed, no bugs ever alight on him. Throughout their travels, the bears are accompanied by a group of suitcase-toting insects whose antics provide most of the visual interest. An audiocassette of the song--a real winner--is included. Ages 3-8. (May)