Friday, January 9, 2015
Bug on a Bike
by Chris Monroe
32 pages; ages 4-8
theme: friendship & sharing
"It's time to go now!" said the bug on a bike. "I better ride over and get Lizard Mike!"
So bug - a ladybug (minus 2 legs but it's fiction; who's counting?) straps on his awesome helmet-with-holes-for-antennae and starts pedaling. "Where are we going?" asks Mike.
"It's a surprise!" says Bug.
And the two of them ride off. Along the way they pick up more friends: a toad, ants, butterfly, dog... they even interrupt a pickle doing strength-training who seems OK with the idea of setting down his weights and following along.
Where are they going? Bug won't say. All we know is they're not there yet - until they go uphill, down dale and wind through the forest.
I won't tell you where they end up - that would ruin the surprise. But I will say it's fun! And worth the ride.
What I like about this book: it's fun and silly and the illustrations are full of things to look at. Like toad's stash of gummi-flies and the carpenter clams busy working on their boats. I love Bug - even though he's two legs shy of an official insect... but I love the long bike-pedaling legs and the green hi-tops that complement the black-dotted red shell.
It's also written in rhyme - which makes it great fun to read aloud. And also very silly... because what rhymes with pickle?
Beyond the book: Bug's friends use different modes of transportation: bikes, skateboards, roller skates, even flight. If you went on an adventure with your friends, how would you travel? Around here we'd probably use sleds and ice skates - what about where you live?
Now think about the non-humans that live in your neighborhood. If you went on an adventure, who (or what) might tag along? And where would you go? Make a map - make it as silly as you want to.
Where do bugs go in January? Depending on where you live, they could be frozen bug-sicles under the snow, or sipping papaya nectar. Find out where your bugs are hanging out for the winter. Also find out where toads and pickles spend the winter.
Today is PPBF (perfect picture book Friday) over at Susanna Leonard Hill's site. She keeps an ever-growing list of Perfect Picture Books. Review copy provided by publisher.