cover image Stories from Bug Garden

Stories from Bug Garden

Lisa Moser, illus. by Gwen Millward. Candlewick, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7636-6534-0

In 13 poetic stories, Moser (Kisses on the Wind) and Millward (How Do You Hug a Porcupine?) take readers on a whimsical jaunt into a garden buzzing with anthropomorphic insects, including Lightning Bug (who “never ever won at hide-and-go-seek, but... was the all-time champion of follow-the-leader) and Ladybug, who prefers running barefoot and playing in the mud to acting “ladylike.” Playful language and exchanges dominate. “You know you’re not a horse,” Butterfly tells Horsefly as he gallops from flower to flower. “Well, you’re not butter, either,” retorts Horsefly. Elsewhere, a dazzling, firework-like display of blooming flowers is met with “Ooohhhs” and “Aaahhhs” from the assembled bugs, and Cricket and Big Ant argue over how to reach a peach, only to discover that letting the wind do the work might be best. Millward’s naïve-styled, softly colored ink-and-watercolor illustrations lend quiet humor to the stories, giving the diminutive characters expressive eyes and sweet smiles. This pleasurable read will win over preschoolers and parents alike as it offers gentle reflections on persistence, pleasure, and perspective. Ages 4–8. (Mar.)