cover image Beetle Bop

Beetle Bop

Denise Fleming, Author . Harcourt $16 (32p) ISBN 978-0-15-2059

Beetles come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors, and Fleming (In the Small, Small Pond ) gives an exuberant shout-out to a slew of them in this eye-catching catalogue of backyard nature. Befitting the book’s title, Fleming’s verse dances across the pages—“Brown beetles,/green beetles,/not-often-seen beetles”—accented by changing font, color, and even direction in the layout of text. But young readers will especially want to pore over her bursting-with-color, dyed-paper-pulp compositions. As they do, they will glean information about beetle behavior (crashing into porch lightbulbs, gnawing on leaves or bark) and the beetle’s place in the larger food chain (being lapped up by a salamander’s tongue or snatched in a bird’s beak). Part boisterous read-aloud, part field guide for entomology enthusiasts, this arresting volume has something for everybuggy. Ages 3-7. (Aug.)