cover image Nasty Bugs

Nasty Bugs

Selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins, illus. by Will Terry. Dial, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8037-3716-7

As the title suggests, the poems in this collection from contemporary children’s poets focus on the less lovable characteristics of certain insects; Terry’s fuzzy-textured artwork follows suit, with cartoonishly monstrous depictions of bugs with scowling eyes, pointy teeth, and big appetites. Hopkins’s “Ode to a Dead Mosquito” reads, “You of little brain/ didn’t you know/ I felt your sting/ the instant you/ began to drain?” Amy Ludwig Vanderwater describes a lice infestation (“Deep between our once clean sheets/ you roam like mini mice./ When we share hats we’re sharing you/ like eggy leggy rice”), as a sufferer clutches at hair crawling with fanged purple bugs. A squirm-inducing tribute to our blood-sucking, garbage-eating insect friends. Ages 6–up. (Mar.)