Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Bella Loves Bugs: A Fact-filled Nature Adventure Bursting with Bugs!

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Bella Loves Bugs is a science based and adorably illustrated book on entomology for young readers (ca 4-7 years) by Dr. Jess French and Duncan Beedie. Released 19th April 2022 by Quarto on their Happy Yak imprint, it's 48 pages and is available in hardcover and ebook formats. 

This is such a whimsical and charming book. I was impressed with the number of engaging facts and nature information crammed into the pages. The pages are set up in frames with text boxes explaining safety, equipment, how-to find and interact with insects and information relevant for both children and their caregivers/facilitators. Although the illustrations are drawn and there aren't photographs, species pictures are clear and specific enough for general identification. 

The grouping of insects is also charming and logical for small kids. The author and illustrator have grouped them into "bees", "hopping insects", "pond creatures", "beetles" and so on. Scattered throughout are gentle reminders for readers about how they can help support, feed, and guard habitat so bugs will always be there. The book also includes a bit of info on other invertebrates (snails and slugs). 

The collection details in the book emphasize catch and release and gentle observation. The author never mentions collecting for display, and there are no kill-jars or euthanasia details included.

For educators, the children in the book are ethnically diverse and main character Bella is a little girl with friends who are both male and female. It's refreshing to see a wide variety of representation. It's never emphasized in the text, but it is there.

Five stars. This would be a good choice for public or school library acquisition, classroom use, or the home library.  

Disclosure: I received a pre-release recording at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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