Tuesday, April 12, 2011

WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU'RE EXPECTING LARVAE by Author: Bridget Heos and Illustrator: Stéphane Jorisch ✰✰✰✰✰

Quick Version
An excellent look at bugs and their larvae, written as if to the expectant bug parents.  Fantastic illustrations and text, and it is even fun for the grown-up reading it out loud!
Long Version
This is one of the best non-fiction children’s books that I have read to my children in a very long time!  I anticipated that my fourth graders would be bored with the book, as they are pretty bug savvy fellows, and that they would not appreciate being addressed as prospective parents of bug larvae.  By the second page the humorous tone and visual impact of this beautiful picture book drew them in right along with their first grade and pre-school sisters.
We all noticed, somewhat surprised, the fact that the text contained information about bugs and their babies which we had not ever come across before in a picture book.  There was even a tidbit that was new info for my Bugmeister in Residence.
The illustrations are a couple of my children's (and my) favorite part.  Illustrator Stéphane Jorisch employs marvelous, vivid colors and infuses every page with the kind of detail that will keep even non-readers browsing through the book.  Each critter seems to possess its own personality thanks to Jorisch’s endless store of expressive animal faces.
Moreover, this book, due to the style of narration, makes it very easy for the reader to have fun with the text.  To me, that is the best way to draw children in to the information.  They will remember things that made them laugh, even facts about bug larvae, for a very long time.
Star Ranking: Five stars, absolutely!
Target Audience: Ages 4-12 (although this mom found it pretty fun too!).  It would make a great gift for a kiddo.

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