cover image Daddy Is a Doodlebug

Daddy Is a Doodlebug

Bruce Degen. HarperCollins Publishers, $15.95 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-06-028415-2

Father and son bugs have a jolly time in this jaunty tale, in which Degen (Jamberry) again reveals his knack for creating and combining words in playful verse. ""We doodle things together"" explains the young narrator, first seen drawing pictures with his father. The cheerful son repeatedly draws a parallel between himself and his dad as he describes the adventures they share: ""We walk our poodlebug down the lane,/ We ride the caboodle car on the train,/ We padoodle the canoe in the sun and rain./ That's what doodlebugs do./ 'Cause Daddy is a canoedlebug, and I'm a canoedlebug too."" Degen works in a style reminiscent of vintage animated cartoons, achieved by creating the artwork in two stages: he executes a black pen-and-ink overlay and gouache color artwork on separate sheets. The star characters, as well as the other four-armed, anthropomorphic bug residents of Doodletown, are all the funnier for their useful extra limbs: a waitress in Mayfly's Diner, for instance, balances an entire meal on her quartet of appendages, and a fellow serenades his date on the banjo while holding a parasol for her in a canoe. Degen's noodle has come up with some fittingly quirky visuals for this splendoodle rhymoodle. Ages 3-6. (Apr.)