This Caldecott honor book is nothing short of adorable. Little bug friends rejoice over the growing of a stem, speaking in their own bug language. Though they encounter a few setbacks, the bugs enjoy their flower—and their friendship—until winter comes.
Carson Ellis's images are fun and whimsical, and sprinkled with little details. All the words in the story are written in a nonsense language, and it's this that add the real charm to the book. It's by no means pure gibberish, having a grammar of its own like Lewis Carol's The Jabberwocky. Kids will delight in figuring out what the words correspond to, and how to pronounce the silly phrases.
The kind of decoding that this book requires is the kind that beginning readers do all the time and the kind that you use when learning a new language. A cute little book about bugs doesn't seem like a brain exercise—but it is, thanks to Carson Ellis.
Review by Lauren Shearer
Lauren Shearer writes words for fun and profit. She also makes films, but everyone knows you can't make a profit doing that. Her other hobby is consistently volunteering way too much of her time. You can read more of her reviews here
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