Bugtown Boogie

Overview

I was strollin’ on home through the woods the other night,
When I saw something a-flashin'—it was shining mighty bright!
It was blinkin' and a-winkin' near the bottom of a tree,
So I scurried on over just to see what I could see.

On his way home, a little boy happens upon a magical door to a tiny bugtown where termites play the trumpet, ...

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Overview

I was strollin’ on home through the woods the other night,
When I saw something a-flashin'—it was shining mighty bright!
It was blinkin' and a-winkin' near the bottom of a tree,
So I scurried on over just to see what I could see.

On his way home, a little boy happens upon a magical door to a tiny bugtown where termites play the trumpet, centipedes dance, and the Queen Bee announces that everyone in her kingdom should "Boogie down!"

Warren Hanson's rhyming, rhythmic read-aloud, filled with bug sounds and dance moves, jives with Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher's rockin' art for jammin' insect adventure.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Mary Hynes-Berry
This book is such wonderful fun for the tongue that children are likely to soon be able to join in as they ask to hear it again and again. Hanson's text imagines a little boy peeking into a tiny insect bistro and describing what he sees all the bugs doing in language that almost boogies off the page. Every few spreads there is a variation on the refrain such as "At the Bugtown Boogie/ Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr/ The Bugtown Boogie/ Schicka. Schicka/ the Bugtown Boogie shaking up the town tonight"—these could easily become a phonemic awareness activity. Johnson and Fancher's illustrations are as lively and crowded as the dance floor. The bugs are shown in muted colors; while not scientific illustrations, each bug is depicted clearly enough to be used as part of a creepy crawlie unit. Thus the insects have six legs, while the spiders have eight and the various body parts are all accurately depicted. This is a wonderful addition to other buggy music works like William Joyce's Nicolas Cricket or Mathew Gollub's Jazz Fly. Reviewer: Mary Hynes-Berry
School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 2- In jazzy rhyming couplets, a young boy describes an unusual sight: "I was strollin' on home through the woods the other night,/When I saw something a-flashin'-it was shinin' mighty bright!/It was blinkin' and a-winkin' near the bottom of a tree,/So I scurried on over just to see what I could see." A delightful illustration shows the narrator peering in through a small door at an exuberant insect gala where imaginatively conceived bugs crowd the dance floor. Jaunty rhymes detail the event and its various attendees, including a colony of Ants who shake "...their behinds/Like they had people in their pants," a fanciful Humbug who "drummed with a stick" in each of his six hands, and a trumpet-blowing Termite who "...played a TAT-a-TAT-a-TOOT,/While the Ladybug was groovin' on her tiny little flute." Vibrant hues and frenetic energy suffuse the artwork, and the close-up images of the featured musicians are charmingly detailed. This antic tale will be fun to read aloud; just practice the pacing. Children will gleefully chime in with the onomatopoeic sounds ("Froppit! Froppit!," "Weedle? Weedle?," "Freega. Freega.") and the repeated refrain: "The Bugtown Boogie, shakin' up the woods tonight." Pair this with Joyce Maxner's Nicholas Cricket (HarperCollins, 1989) and David Kirk's Miss Spider's Tea Party (Scholastic, 1994) for a bug-themed romp.-Kirsten Cutler, Sonoma County Library, CA

Kirkus Reviews
A boy walking home at dusk narrates his fantastic woodland discovery: a diminutive but raucous party in a tree trunk. The revelers? Bugs of every description, many playing tiny guitars, fiddles and drums. Hanson's syncopated verse scans handily, making this a swell read-aloud for intrepid parents, teachers and librarians. "Every kind of bug was there, a-rockin' to the rhythm. / The Katydids had come and brought the Katykids in with ‘em. / The Mayfly was a waltzin' with her little Junebug brother, / As the Caterpillars did the twist, ticklin' each other!" The accomplished Johnson and Fancher take the fantasy several twists further, with mixed-media pictures teeming with strange critters that only occasionally correspond with entomological reality. The illustrations couple painterly techniques with textural, post-industrial collage elements, resulting in full-bleed spreads that are often amusing and occasionally creepy. In the illustration accompanying the quoted text, for example, two bloated, enmeshed caterpillars freakishly dominate the picture plane. Still, Hanson's cheerful cadences and imaginatively embellished refrains carry the day, and Fancher's typography is handsome and effective. (Picture book. 4-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060599379
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/20/2008
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.20 (w) x 11.10 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Warren Hanson has been writing and illustrating children's books for the last twenty years. He's the author of Grandpa Has a Great Big Face, the author and illustrator of The Next Place, and the illustrator of the Peef books and A Cup of Christmas Tea. He lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota, with his wife, Patty.

Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher are an illustration team with more than forty picture books in print. Their work has garnered rave reviews and won awards. Their books include My Many Colored Days, Bebop Express, I Walk at Night, New York's Bravest, The Velveteen Rabbit, and The Salamander Room. They were also concept artists for Pixar's Toy Story and A Bug's Life. They live in California with their son.

Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher are an illustration team with more than forty picture books in print. Their work has garnered rave reviews and won awards. Their books include My Many Colored Days, Bebop Express, I Walk at Night, New York's Bravest, The Velveteen Rabbit, and The Salamander Room. They were also concept artists for Pixar's Toy Story and A Bug's Life. They live in California with their son.

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