I Love Bugs by Elspeth Alix Batt
Someone is overly fond of bugs: from tingly and tickly gnats to pleasingly prickly crickets. Who can it be?
This hardcover picture book is a lot of fun. Freelance illustrator Elspeth Alix Batt has created this beautifully illustrated and clever book all about the bugs we see and hear in our gardens.
Each double page spread introduces one type bug, and why they are so awesome. Dizzy and dithery moths float in a moonlit background, shiny and spiny beetles hide among the mānuka and karaka.
The repetitive phrases make it simple for little readers to pick up and read themselves, while the delicious adjectives introduce alliteration. For older children it makes for a great book to model writing with - we had lots of fun coming up with our own sea-themed version of it.
It's a fun book to read aloud and one of those books that demands the person reading it give it their all - full of silly voices and expressions.
I had the pleasure of just reading the book, without knowing anything about it. The final pages, that reveal who the narrator is, were a clever surprise and one that we didn't see coming because we were so wrapped up in the scrumptious language Batt uses. A second reading, where we explored the illustrations a bit more, revealed just how focussed on the writing we were the first time.
Batt's illustrations are beautiful, with bold colours and bugs full of personality on each page. She's also been sure to include plenty of instantly recognisable flora and fauna too.
At the back of the book is a special section that offers younger readers an introduction to each creature. The te reo Māori name for each bug is included alongside some simple facts. The section is also available to download on OneTree House's website as part of their Covid-19 lockdown resources section.
I Love Bugs is a fun exploration of bugs and all their unexpected delights.
Reviewed by: Rebekah Lyell
OneTree House, RRP $40