Bug Boys

Random/Graphic. Feb. 2020. 272p. Tr $13.99. ISBN 9781984896766.
Gr 3-6–Meet the Bug Boys. Rough-and-tumble Rhino-B and studious bibliophile Stag-B are best friends who love exploring Bug Village. This warm, tender volume is full of loosely connected stories of the two beetles’ adventures. Rhino-B and Stag-B discover hidden treasures in nature, revel in their differences, and express gratitude for their friendship. Their encounters with other creatures, including bees, termites, spiders, a dragonfly, and a mole, help them learn lessons. A surreal tale sees each beetle immersed in either depression or mania and emerging from the experience thanks to the embrace of friendship—a theme echoed throughout the book. No matter what the problem is, the solution always involves characters clearly communicating and discussing their feelings, and though the beetles and their friends may disagree, they are quick to forgive and celebrate one another. Knetzger’s upbeat cartoons are bathed in bright greens, yellows, and pinks, with some dark blues and black—the perfect palette for a natural setting.
VERDICT This gentle romp through nature will be paradise for readers, who will find themselves wishing they could be the third beetle in the Bug Boys’ group.

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