Beetle McGrady Eats Bugs!



Megan McDonald

The debut of an exuberant new picture book character from the best–selling author of the Judy Moody series.

Beetle McGrady dreams of being an explorer like Marco Polo or a pioneer like Amelia Earhart. She dreams of being brave and daring, and she will begin by ... ...

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Megan McDonald

The debut of an exuberant new picture book character from the best–selling author of the Judy Moody series.

Beetle McGrady dreams of being an explorer like Marco Polo or a pioneer like Amelia Earhart. She dreams of being brave and daring, and she will begin by ... eating an ant.

It's dare double dare on the school playground, but will Beetle be able to live up to her dreams? Face to face –– or Beetle to ant –– will she be able to

bite and chew and ... swallow? Gulp!

If she does, what will the ant taste like? If she does, will the ant be crunchy or squishy? And if she can't, does that mean she's a chicken?

During Fun with Food Week in her school science class, second-grader Beetle McGrady tries to work up the courage to eat an ant.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
During Fun with Food Week in science class, Beetle McGrady, who wants to be an adventurous pioneer, declares she will eat an ant. But then, somehow, it does not seem like such a good idea. She tries to practice, with humorous results, but she just can't. She tries many new foods during Fun with Food Week, but she still can't face eating an ant. She is disappointed in herself. On Friday, however, when Chef Suzanne brings an assortment of cooked bugs from many lands, brave Beetle finally shows her grossed-out classmates what a bold explorer she can be. "Today, ants. Tomorrow...ANTarctica!" Watercolors create a realistic child's world, and a kid filled with spunky curiosity and daring energy. The comic characters are appropriately cartoon-y; a close-up of Beetle shows her tongue out, an ant sitting on it, but her expression shows that she just isn't ready yet. Chef Suzanne's plate of toasted crickets look delicious enough to change Beetle's mind. Don't miss "Beetle's tips for eating Bugs" on the end-papers. 2005, Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins, Ages 4 to 8.
—Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-Beetle McGrady yearns for adventure. She wants to explore the world like Laura Ingalls Wilder, Marco Polo, and Amelia Earhart. She gets her chance during Fun with Food Week in science class. On Monday, while creating a food chart with the rest of Table Six, Beetle decides to start her own food group and claims she would "eat an ant in a second." The other children take her up on her boast, but when her big moment arrives, she can't do it. She spits out the ant, crushing her dreams of becoming a "true pioneer." Beetle mopes through the rest of the week until Friday, when a chef visits the class and serves a selection of exotic dishes: Mexican stinkbug salsa, cricket pizza, and grasshopper tacos. Beetle then has a second chance to bravely explore the world of bugs. Bright watercolor illustrations reflect the story's zany theme and add to the humor. The writing is colorful and descriptive: "She, Beetle McGrady, set the itchy-twitchy, buggly-wuggly ant on the tip of her tongue." The endpapers give a taste of the tale to come: Beetle's 10 tips for eating bugs are listed (e.g., "Feeling tired? Forget to take your vitamins? Termites are full of iron."), while insects carrying protest signs picket along the bottom of the pages. Children will delight in this squirmy tale of audacious eating.-Suzanne Myers Harold, Multnomah County Library System, Portland, OR Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The title says it all: Wannabe explorer Beetle McGrady, whose heroes are Amelia Earhart and Marco Polo, gets herself into trouble during Fun with Food Week by adding ants to her group's food pyramid. However, when push comes to shove, Beetle isn't quite as eager to engage gastronomically with insects as she'd like. With classmates Roger, Lacey and Mona forming a Greek chorus as Beetle wrestles with her squeamishness, McDonald walks both Beetle and reader companionably through the week until Chef Suzanne shows up on Friday with a selection of wriggly delicacies that allows Beetle to find her inner bug-eater. Manning's watercolor illustrations feature a parka-clad ant (from Ant-arctica, presumably) who watches the freckle-faced, Pippi Longstocking-pigtailed Beetle's struggle from corner vignettes. The images of Chef Suzanne's creepy-crawlies are amiably disgusting; Beetle's grossed-out classmates nicely satisfying. Washy blue images of Beetle as anteater and mealworm form visual counterpoint to a text that finds its subject's voice beautifully: "[B]ird's-nest soup did not make her Marco Polo. Bird's-nest soup just made her a spit-eater." Agreeably icky fun. (Picture book. 5-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060013547
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/29/2005
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 1,002,063
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.00 (w) x 10.50 (h) x 0.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Megan McDonald

Megan McDonald is the author of the Judy Moody books, which were New York Times bestsellers. Her picture books, including Beetle McGrady Eats Bugs!, the Reading Rainbow Book Is This a House for Hermit Crab?, and Insects Are My Life, are enormously popular. She lives in Sebastopol, California.

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