FICTION

Bug Off!: A Story of Fireflies and Friendship

Farrar, Straus & Giroux. Jun. 2019. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780374380625.
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PreS-Gr 1–Maude is enthralled by fireflies, which she had never noticed before her family moved to the country. She sees a poster for the “Bug of the Month” club run by a neighborhood girl and is excited to join. In order to gain entry to the group, she prepares and delivers the required speech about her chosen bug and readers learn firefly facts along with her. The group leader, Louise, is appalled that Maude doesn’t know the difference between a bug and an insect. She is so disgusted that Maude doesn’t realize a lightning bug is not even a bug but a beetle; she abruptly tells Maude: “Time for you to bug off.” A couple of months later, Louise learns the other club members liked Maude’s speech and have rallied around her and her love of fireflies. Louise finally relents, and the two girls acknowledge they can learn from each other. A note from the author appears at the book’s conclusion along with resources that will give readers more information on the insect.
VERDICT A useful selection in classrooms as well as a discussion starter at storytime.

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