cover image Super Bugs

Super Bugs

Michelle Meadows, illus. by Bill Mayer. Scholastic/Orchard, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-545-68756-0

Meadows (Piggies in Pajamas) and Mayer (Hide and Sheep) envision tiny creatures engaged in big, heroic actions as red-caped bugs assist insects in need. In an opening note, Meadows explains that “not all insects are ‘true bugs’ in the scientific sense” (true bugs include cicadas, aphids, and bedbugs), but her heroes aren’t picky, saving roaches, bumblebees, and more. While true bugs have beaklike mouthparts used for piercing and sucking, Mayer opts for cuteness with his roundheaded, big-eyed bugs: one wears a safety patrol sash made from a blade of grass as it helps a parade of insects cross the street; another swoops in to save a grasshopper from a falling tomato (“Insect shopper, green grasshopper./ Save her from a whopper bopper”). Bouncy rhymes carry readers forward swiftly, though the repetitive chorus isn’t all that punchy (“Antennae up, eyes down./ Buzzing all around the town./ Super Bugs, Super Bugs,/ mighty, mighty Super Bugs!”). Still, many readers will be happy to lose themselves in the rich autumnal colors and retro, Mighty Mouse–style antics of Mayer’s gouache paintings. Ages 3–5. Author’s agent: Rosemary Stimola, Stimola Literary Studio. (June)