No one at home or school understands Amanda Frankenstein's devotion to insects until she meets Maggie.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyPigtailed and bespectacled-and with a freckled, round face and turned-up nose-Amanda Frankenstein looks like a junior pedant. And perhaps she is. Crazy about insects, the strong-willed girl dumps her brother's fireflies out of the jar and informs him, "Bugs are people, too, you know." Amanda amasses a huge collection of bugs ("Dead ones, of course"), is proud of the number of mosquito bites on her leg (22) and utters the dramatic claim stated in the book's title. Incessantly talking about (and even acting like) various insects, she antagonizes her brother and classmates. The plot wears thin, although some of Amanda's antics are engaging and many of McDonald's (Is This a House for Hermit Crab?) lines are quite funny (when the aspiring entomologist puts her feet on the kitchen table because, she announces, butterflies have taste buds in their feet, her mother orders her to "please keep your taste buds on the floor"). Johnson's (The Cow Who Wouldn't Come Down) animated watercolor, colored-pencil and pastel illustrations depend on exaggeration for their humor; even so, they are truer to life than the text in their depiction of ordinary feelings. Ages 4-7. (Mar.)
Children's Literature - Debra BriaticoAmanda Frankenstein loves bugs of all shapes, sizes, colors, and textures. She examines them, collects them, protects them, and imitates their behaviors. She even gets into trouble at home and school because of her deep interest in them. No one seems to understand her passion for bugs. That all changes when she meets Maggie, a new friend at school, who has a similar passion for reptiles.
School Library Journal - School Library JournalK-Gr 3Amanda loves bugs, a fact that no one else seems to appreciate. She examines them, collects them, protects them, and imitates their behavior. She even gets into trouble at home and at school because of them. Kids tease her, and one in particular, Victor, makes her life miserable. In one humorous exchange she calls him ``... a stinkbug on the leaf of life.'' Then she discovers Maggie, a classmate who has a passion of her ownreptiles. Factual tidbits slipped surrepetitiously into the appealing text add information to this spirited tale. It's refreshing to have nonsqueamish female characters who are willing to take on all adversaries in defense of their causes. Full-page and vignette illustrations rendered in soft-hued watercolors, colored pencils, and pastels complement and add humor to the story. They are energetic, engaging, and entomologically correct. Insects Are My Life is an almost-perfect specimen.Virginia Opocensky, formerly at Lincoln City Libraries, NE
Stephanie ZvirinAmanda Frankenstein adores insects. She collects them ("dead ones, of course"), observes them, reads about them, and even writes poems about them. But nobody seems to understand her fervor, not her mother or her brother, and certainly not the kids at school--that is, for except Maggie, whose green scuba goggles betray her dearest love: "Reptiles are my life!" Amanda's discovery of a new friend comes a mite too abruptly at the close of the story, but McDonald beautifully captures kids' wonderful ability for all-encompassing devotion and offers children reassurance that it's perfectly OK to be different. Johnson's pleasingly unsaccharine illustrations, rendered in a combination of watercolor, pencil, and pastel, catch sometimes sour Amanda at her willful, stubborn, preoccupied best.
- Demco Media
- Publication date:
- Age Range:
- 5 - 8 Years
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