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The Bugliest Bug


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About the Author

Carol Diggory Shields thinks "insects are awesome! As I studied insects for THE BUGLIEST BUG, I realized that every invention people have come up with, from catapults to jet propulsion, had already been invented and used by bugs for millions of years. And that is why to be 'bugly' is the ultimate compliment." Carol Diggory Shields is a children's librarian and lives in northern California with her family.

Scott Nash is the illustrator of many children's books, including OH, TUCKER! by Steven Kroll and MARTIAN ROCK and SATURDAY NIGHT AT THE DINOSAUR STOMP by Carol Diggory Shields. He lives with his wife on an island off the coast of Maine.


PreS-Gr 2-A book with a kid-pleasing subject. Shields's humorous rhymes are paired with Nash's cartoon illustrations of bugs with pincers, antennae, and horns; spotted bugs; striped bugs; all with huge eyes. These swarms of insects are winging their way to the Bugliest Bug Contest. They are so busy showing off that they fail to notice what young Damselfly Dilly has spotted-the judges have wings tied to their backs. These impostors are arachnids in disguise and have arranged the contest in hopes of snaring a tasty meal. When the curtain drops, it's a web, but the contestants manage to escape via Dilly's stage directions. Each bug uses its strength to fight-the army ants march, the mantises pray, but in the end it's the stink bugs who save the day. And, of course, though Dilly is small and has no special talents to display, her heroic actions have earned her the title of the bugliest bug of them all.-Laurie Edwards, West Shore School District, Camp Hill, PA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

In a rollicking, tongue-in-cheek entree to the entomological world, Damselfly Dilly uncovers a plot by a group of sinister spiders who hold a "bugliest bug" contest and secretly plan to consume the credulous contestants. "A ladybug curtsied, tumblebugs flipped, The judges applauded, then licked their lips." The steady beat of the simple and often clever verse swiftly advances the predictable plot. Meanwhile, the almost fluorescent gouache and pencil illustrations put readers at the swamp-level action with close-ups of the pop-eyed cartoon insects, most portrayed with only four legs and comical humanoid expressions. Busy spreads aglow in yellow and orange buzz with animation, as humorous vignettes show each bug earnestly performing its talent (e.g., a trio of click bugs appears to doo-wop). Shields and Nash (previously paired for Saturday Night at the Dinosaur Stomp) end the tale with a hurrah (stink-bug humor included), and readers will be cheered, although not surprised, to learn which bug is ultimately proclaimed "bugliest." Tear-out trading cards feature the book's stars with facts and lighthearted prose: "While most know him as Dung Beetle, Tumblebug prefers to be called the Original Pooper Scooper... (he just built and moved into a cozy ball of manure)." Ages 4-8. (Apr.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

"A rollicking, tongue-in-cheek entree to the entomological world."

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