Bug on a Bike

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A polka-dot dog, ants on a log, an “athletic pickle,” a smiling nickel, a bear eating honey, and a skateboarding bunny are among the characters that join a festive cavalcade led by a helmet-wearing ladybug on a bike. Each eagerly falls in line, following the leader up and down hills, across a river, and through a forest, wondering where they are headed: “Where are they riding/ on such a nice day?/ They asked the bug—/ But he just wouldn’t say.” Monroe’s (Cookie, the Walker) cumulative verse reveals a penchant for nonsense and non sequitur, while her wispy cartoons have a manic energy that matches the text’s quirkiness and showcases amusing transportation-related details: clams travel in a boat with wheels, a cat and a fez-wearing monkey ride along on roller skates, while the aforementioned pickle opts for a skateboard. The story’s energy continues full tilt after the travelers reach finally their surprise destination—the bug’s extravagant birthday party, which is chock-full of activities, snacks, and food. This boisterous outing works well as both a read-alone for beginning readers and a readaloud for story time. Ages 4–8. (Oct.)
Children's Literature - Heidi Hauser Green
“It’s time to go now!” the bug on a bike decides, and heads out to pick up Lizard Mike. They continue down the path and pick up another friend, and another, and another. The only one who knows where they are going is the bug, but everyone is game to join in. Fanciful descriptive details about each friend’s characteristics (e.g., polka dot dog, athletic pickle, a snake in a blouse) and activities (e.g., tying on skates, building wheels for their boats) add to the rhyme and fun of this ridiculous tale. Suspense builds in this cumulative tale—Who will be next? What will they be doing? Where is everyone going?—until a most satisfying conclusion. The ride has brought them to Bug’s birthday party, and there is plenty of fun to be had! Unlike similar books that end as soon as the destination is reached, this allows readers to relish the fun for several pages before closing the book. It is a sure thing they will want to; Monroe’s illustrations are a veritable treasury of humorous touches. This is a book that will be requested over and over again, by kids who like bugs and those who like activities with friends. Highly recommended. Reviewer: Heidi Hauser Green; Ages 4 to 8.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—In this kooky cumulative tale, a ladybug on a bike announces, "It's time to go now." A motley parade of friends follows him as he pedals down roads and up hills and through a forest, despite not knowing "where we're going or when we'll be back." Monroe's quirky ink-and-watercolor cartoons showcase small vignettes of the many odd characters, including ants rolling on a log, an "athletic pickle" pumping iron, and a lizard baking pies in an amphibian-shaped kiln. The rhyming verse takes a long, circuitous route to get to the punch line: "Well look at the time./ We're not late, we're not tardy./ It's my Bug Birthday Party!" This rambling adventure sometimes spins its wheels.—Linda Ludke, London Public Library, Ontario, Canada
Kirkus Reviews
A fun-filled and humorous picture book about friendship and sharing. When the bug on a bike stops by to pick up Lizard Mike, who is baking pies, readers will know they're in for a silly treat. The bug and Lizard Mike also invite Randy the Toad and scores of others during the course of the story (including carpenter clams in boats, an athletic pickle, a skateboarding bunny and, hilariously, ants on a log) to go on a biking, skateboarding and rolling journey to no-one-but-the-bug knows where. Monroe's rhyming text builds as she adds various critters to the journey. As entertaining as the text is, however, it is the illustrations that steal the show. Singularly absurd in their renditions (the lizard wears madras shorts, the snake dons a tubular blouse), the menagerie all nonetheless manage to look determined and earnest as they follow the bug on a bike—who himself has the endearing focused look of a toddler just learning to ride a two-wheeler. As the journey continues, tension builds—where the heck are they going? As it turns out, it is to the bug's birthday party. Further silliness ensues as the author details the cavorting (the clams eat "buckets of nachos," and the pickle break dances) at the party. Snappy and exuberant, this rhyming picture book is sure to be a hit in a read-aloud. (Picture book. 3-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781467721547
  • Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 10/28/2014
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 71,919
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD730L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.90 (w) x 9.80 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Chris Monroe
Chris Monroe is the author/illustrator of the long-running comic strip Violet Days as well as the anthology Ultra Violet: Ten Years of Violet Days. She lives in Duluth, Minnesota.
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