The Gentleman Bug

Overview

The Gentleman Bug is perfectly content leading his quiet life in the garden as a school teacher and bookworm. He doesn't even mind the ceaseless teasing of the more dapper bugs. But everything changes when the Lady Bug arrives in town. The Gentleman Bug falls legs over antennae for her at first sight. But how will he get her to notice him?

After a series of mishaps and a failed Victorian makeover, the Gentleman Bug learns that love (and a love of literature) trumps all, as he ...

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Overview

The Gentleman Bug is perfectly content leading his quiet life in the garden as a school teacher and bookworm. He doesn't even mind the ceaseless teasing of the more dapper bugs. But everything changes when the Lady Bug arrives in town. The Gentleman Bug falls legs over antennae for her at first sight. But how will he get her to notice him?

After a series of mishaps and a failed Victorian makeover, the Gentleman Bug learns that love (and a love of literature) trumps all, as he wins his fair Librarian Lady Bug's heart.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Thoughtful, scholarly Gentleman Bug and his colleagues inhabit the Garden, an Edwardian town, and it's the contrast between the multilegged creatures and their period costumes that supplies the book's quiet humor. (The Garden is laid out on a map on the endpapers, labeled with locations like Bugadilly Circus and Pollen Hill.) The Gentleman Bug, a teacher of juvenile bugs, falls for Lady Bug; in a sort of anti-Cinderella scene, he appears at a ball in a dapper suit and top hat to impress her. “The rest of the evening didn't go quite as planned,” Hector (The Little Matador) writes as the bug collides with a waiter. Lady Bug is a librarian, it turns out, and their mutual love of reading draws them together in the end. The fact that the romance unfolds in public reduces the mush factor, and even smaller children will sympathize: “Safe at home, he tried to forget about the Lady Bug, but it was a very hard thing to do.” The combination of an elaborately imagined community and a pared-down plot and text makes this a fine choice for the very young. Ages 2-5. (Apr.)
From the Publisher
“Subdued colors, elegant lines and generous quantities of space to lend low-key grace to each scene.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Hector’s crisp, utterly charming watercolor-and-colored-pencil illustrations have a classic, timeless feel.” —Booklist

“The combination of an elaborately imagined community and a pared-down plot and text makes this a fine choice for the very young.” —Publishers Weekly

“[Hector’s] charmingly simple story will delight young insect lovers, and its bibliophilic ending is perfect.” –Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Review

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
In a garden full of bugs lives our hero, a Gentleman Bug, a teacher who loves to read. Others tease him about this, but he doesn't mind at all until a Lady Bug arrives in town. He is attracted to her, but she doesn't seem to notice him. So he decides to change himself into a dapper fellow. Arriving at the local gathering place, he impresses everyone but the Lady Bug. Then he has an unfortunate accident there. He leaves and tries in vain to forget her. Receiving an invitation to an opening in the garden, he is surprised to find that it is a new library and that the Lady Bug is the librarian. Thrilled with all the books, he finds she shares his love of reading, for a happy ending. On the endpages, a picture map of the garden done in subtle tones of watercolors and colored pencil identifies the scene. The map is surrounded by framed portraits of some of the main characters, hinting at the Victorian environment. The citizens are costumed, anthropomorphic bugs with four arms, feet, and almost featureless round heads, inhabiting this tidy little world. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—Populated by a variety of grasshoppers, wasps, bees, and other bugs in Edwardian-style clothing, a British-looking village provides the setting for Hector's odd love tale. The Gentleman Bug, described as a bookworm and dressed in what appears to be scout attire, finds that his life takes a new turn with the arrival of Lady Bug. Determined to attract her attention, he changes his style, turning himself into a dapper fellow sporting striped pants, vest, cravat, and top hat. Lady Bug is not impressed. Then Gentleman Bug gets invited to the opening of the new library, where he meets the librarian (aka Lady Bug) and the two read happily together ever after. This slight but sweet story has a diverse insect cast, pleasing colors and detail, and a bookish theme.—Barbara Elleman, Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, Amherst, MA
Kirkus Reviews
Hector follows up Little Matador (2008) with another simply told take on the value of staying true to oneself. Outfitting an all-insect cast in frilly gowns, top hats and like dress from centuries past, he creates a comfy setting for his tale of a smitten teacher-(almost) literally and figuratively a bookworm-who exchanges his casual dress for more formal clothing in an effort to be noticed by a newly arrived Lady Bug. Disaster ensues, and the Gentleman Bug flees home in massive embarrassment. As it turns out, he needn't have bothered with a makeover, because shortly thereafter the town's new library opens and its librarian is none other than . . . guess who? The two bond instantly over their shared love of reading and are last seen sitting together with bookish intimacy on a picnic blanket spread beneath nodding garden flowers. The author relies a little too heavily on details in the pictures to fill out his sketchy text, but he artfully uses subdued colors, elegant lines and generous quantities of space to lend low-key grace to each scene. (Picture book. 6-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416994671
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
  • Publication date: 4/6/2010
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 1,483,688
  • Age range: 2 - 5 Years
  • Lexile: AD510L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.20 (w) x 12.20 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Author-illustrator Julian Hector was born in Los Angeles, grew up in rural Texas, and graduated from Parsons the New School for Design in New York City. His debut picture book, The Little Matador, was published in 2008. Julian lives in Guthrie, Oklahoma, and you can visit him online at www.julianhector.com.

Author-illustrator Julian Hector was born in Los Angeles, grew up in rural Texas, and graduated from Parsons the New School for Design in New York City. His debut picture book, The Little Matador, was published in 2008. Julian lives in Guthrie, Oklahoma, and you can visit him online at www.julianhector.com.

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