Nasty Bugs

Overview

A collection of creepy, crawly poems by some of today's most beloved children's poets

This tribute to the delightful nastiness of bugs features sixteen poems by accomplished children's poets, including Marilyn Singer, J. Patrick Lewis, and Rebecca Andrew Loescher. From "Ode to a Dead Mosquito" to "Termite Tune," this brightly illustrated, kid-friendly collection riffs on the details of the world's most infamous insects. Fun facts about the featured creatures round out this sure ...

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Overview

A collection of creepy, crawly poems by some of today's most beloved children's poets

This tribute to the delightful nastiness of bugs features sixteen poems by accomplished children's poets, including Marilyn Singer, J. Patrick Lewis, and Rebecca Andrew Loescher. From "Ode to a Dead Mosquito" to "Termite Tune," this brightly illustrated, kid-friendly collection riffs on the details of the world's most infamous insects. Fun facts about the featured creatures round out this sure bet for poetry fans and bug enthusiasts alike.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
As the title suggests, the poems in this collection from contemporary children’s poets focus on the less lovable characteristics of certain insects; Terry’s fuzzy-textured artwork follows suit, with cartoonishly monstrous depictions of bugs with scowling eyes, pointy teeth, and big appetites. Hopkins’s “Ode to a Dead Mosquito” reads, “You of little brain/ didn’t you know/ I felt your sting/ the instant you/ began to drain?” Amy Ludwig Vanderwater describes a lice infestation (“Deep between our once clean sheets/ you roam like mini mice./ When we share hats we’re sharing you/ like eggy leggy rice”), as a sufferer clutches at hair crawling with fanged purple bugs. A squirm-inducing tribute to our blood-sucking, garbage-eating insect friends. Ages 6–up. (Mar.)
Children's Literature - Peg Glisson
Sixteen poems, three of which were commissioned for this book, inform and entertain readers. Poets include Hopkins, X. J. Kennedy, Marilyn Singer, J. Patrick Lewis, Alice Schertle, Douglas Florian, and several other well-known poets. Their creatures bite and suck their ways through plants, animals, humans, and other things like wood in poems of free verse or tight rhythm and rhyme. The vocabulary is marvelous, with inventive words such as "yum-yucky" and "pediculous;" descriptive terms such as writhing, stealthy, and blood-filled; and rich language filled with words like armament, marbled, gobble, and genealogy. These poems aren't just for fun, though, as they are packed with information about the bugs' modus operandi and/or consequences of their actions. Many familiar insects, including bedbugs, fleas, lice, mosquitoes, and wasps, are included along with some less familiar insects (boll weevil, potato beetle, chigger). Will Terry's brightly colored illustrations mostly fill the pages, with the poems lying over each illustration. His bugs feature exaggerated eyes, legs, and stingers as they skitter, crawl, or eat their way across each page. His focus is always the bug's line and shape, but each drawing is filled with other details to add to the ick-factor. His perspectives vary and draw the reader into the situation. I guarantee these poems and illustrations will have you scratching before the end of the book! Three pages of information on each bug are an added plus; this back matter includes a thumbprint size illustration, a one-liner from the poem, each bug's scientific name or order, and facts about each bug. The poems read aloud well and offer some opportunities for dramatic readings. This is not just for budding entomologists; even those grossed out by bugs of all shapes and sizes will be smiling as they learn. Reviewer: Peg Glisson
School Library Journal
Gr 1–3—Hopkins has brought together some of the major voices in children's poetry to create this compilation. The bugs may be nasty, but the selections are sublime. The poems, including Marilyn Singer's "Disagreeable Fleas," Kristine O'Connell George's "Bedbug Has a Bite to Eat," and Douglas Florian's "The Giant Water Bug," are accessible for the intended audience; they reveal what little creatures from lice to stink bugs to everyday flies are really up to. The language used is absolutely divine. Any teacher doing a habitat unit or introducing the predator-versus-prey issue will love this book. When read aloud, each poem falls deftly from the tongue and, even while it informs, the kids will laugh out loud. The illustrations are a good match: they are bold and somewhat cartoonlike, yet their attributes are spot-on. Back matter includes more information on each bug, complete with its scientific name. Topnotch and intriguing.—Joan Kindig, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA
Kirkus Reviews
In poems written especially for this humorously illustrated collection, 16 versatile poets describe 16 different, mostly familiar and certainly unwelcome insects. "Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! / Uck! Uck! Uck!" From stink bugs to giant water bugs, with nods to agricultural pests, creatures that bite or sting and those that prefer our waste, Hopkins and his fellow poets celebrate the pests among us. Contributors include many whose names will be familiar to readers of children's poetry. From free verse to tight rhyme and rhythm, the forms are as diverse as the insects described. As in any collection, the poems vary in strength, but for read-aloud or choral presentation, many will have both audience and performer appeal. Terry's smooth, vividly colored paintings, mostly double-page spreads underlying the poems, add to the fun. These bright illustrations exaggerate his anthropomorphized subjects' bug-eyes, sharp teeth and pincers. But there's some genuine information as well, both in the poetry and in the backmatter, which includes each creature's scientific name or order, a thumbnail and a few words from the poem and an additional factual paragraph (which strains, sometimes, to include the titular "nasty"). As the bedbug says, "absolutely / deeee licious"; a delightful introduction for audiences not quite ready for Douglas Florian's Insectlopedia (1998) or Joyce Sidman's Song of the Water Boatman, illustrated by Beckie Prange (2005). (Picture book/poetry. 6-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803737167
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 3/15/2012
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 655,875
  • Age range: 6 - 10 Years
  • Lexile: 870L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.60 (w) x 11.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Lee Bennett Hopkins has been publishing books for children and young adults since 1969. He divides his time between New York and Florida.

Will Terry (www.willterry.com) studied illustration at Brigham Young University before pursuing his lifelong dream of becoming a children's book illustrator. He lives with his wife and three sons in Salt Lake City, Utah.

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