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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Siblings Cody and Anna are going exploring in their own backyard. They have all the equipment they need and they’re excited to be studying insects and bugs, anything they can find that lives in their yard. First, they find a bush cricket and admire its antennae and the way the bush cricket jumps away when frightened. They share their knowledge that all insects have only six legs. The next thing they study is a garden spider. It has eight legs, so it can’t be an insect, but it loves to eat the insects it catches in the webs it makes. Bugs and insects don’t have to be creepy. They all have a job to do and they benefit the environment in their own unique way, as the siblings discover on their outdoor exploration.
Andrew Markey’s picture book story, Bugs (Backyard Explorer Series), is an interesting way to introduce young readers to bugs and insects. It’s an informative approach without being too detailed. Using two young people on an exploring expedition, young readers will instantly relate to the interest these children have in what they discover. The author shares tidbits about each insect and bug that Cody and Anna find. The simple language makes it easy for young readers to follow along and some of the more difficult words are also spelled out phonetically so youngsters will know how to pronounce these words. The illustrations are bright and colorful and add another element of interest. At the end of the book is a glossary of insects and bugs discovered in the story and definitions of some of the more difficult words used in the story, like antennae.