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Bug

illus. by Amy Proud. 40p. Sterling. Apr. 2019. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781454923565.
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Gr 1–3—A little girl is called Bug for her love of insects. She'd rather draw bugs than do anything else, especially learn math. She doodles bugs during class and on her math homework. When her teacher promises the class a trip to the science museum (Bug-o-Rama exhibit!) if everyone does well on the next math test, Bug knows she must study hard, but bug-drawing proves too tempting. Laying on the grass doodling bugs, she has a light bulb moment—her bug pictures could be used to do addition and subtraction. "The butterfly had 3 spots on each wing. Bug counted 6 spots…. That's math. I'm doing math!" Suddenly math isn't so hard. Bug easily passes the big test, despite the escaped crickets she brought for luck causing a commotion when they jump in her teacher's hair. Koontz's plentiful text is complemented by Proud's sketchlike illustrations. Relying on white space, an eye for detail, and muted colors, she easily captures Bug's fascination with insects and her difficulty focusing on math. Math is easy when you combine it with your passion, and this is a story to help dissipate a math block.
VERDICT An enticing choice for one-on-one and small group sharing.

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