cover image Bugs! Bugs! Bugs!

Bugs! Bugs! Bugs!

Bob Barner, Chronicle Books. Chronicle Books, $14.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8118-2238-1

Barner (Dem Bones) creates an enthusiastic book crawling with splashy bugs. From the eager, impatient first line--""Bugs! Bugs! Bugs! I want to see bugs!""--the book's narrative voice grabs attention, but it's the butterfly-bright multimedia artwork that makes this book soar. Using cut and torn paper, pen and ink, watercolors and a computer, Barner creates compositions that buzz with color. The ""fuzzy caterpillar with tiny feet"" has a slightly skewed smile, buggy eyes and a long red body that swirls across a lemon-yellow spread; funky amoeba-like blobs floating by echo the electric colors and irregular, concentric circles of the caterpillar's spots. A spread with ""actual size bugs"" adds a more educational note, and older kids can study the ""Bug-O-Meter,"" a chart that shows whether or not the eight featured creatures can fly, the number of legs they have, etc. Aspiring entomologists will develop a friendly, appreciative attitude toward the bugs they're most likely to encounter, and Barner's playful use of colors, shapes and words may even convert bug foes. Ages 2-6. (June)