Bugs for Lunch
Margery Facklam, author
Margery Facklam never gave much thought to eating bugs until she was served mealworm fritters and cricket tarts at a party at the Buffalo Museum of Science. After receiving a birthday gift of mealworm brittle, she was hooked and was inspired to write Bugs for Lunch. Margery has authored more than thirty books, including The Big Bug Book (Little, Brown), and I Eat Dinner (Boyds Mills Press).
Read more about Margery.
Sylvia Long, illustrator
Sylvia Long graduated from Maryland Institute of Art and has exhibited her work extensively for over twenty years. Her career as a children's book illustrator was launched with Ten Little Rabbits (Chronicle), which won the International Reading Association award for Best Picture Book and garnered her a loyal and enthusiastic following. Her book, Hush, Little Baby (Chronicle), was a runaway success.
Read more about Sylvia.
- Kids' Pick of the Lists (ABA)
- Read, America! Collection
- ABA/CBC Children's Books Mean Business
- Parenting Magazine Reading Magic Award
- Parent Council, Selected as Outstanding
- Mockingbird Reading Program shortlist
- Pennsylvania Young Readers Choice Award (master list)
Facklam's playful rhymed verses and Long's brightly colored paintings combine to introduce young listeners to a variety of creatures that eat insects. They include well-known species, such as bats, bears and aardvarks, as well as such lesser-known insectivores as rainbow trout and praying mantises and humans; they even include Venus's-flytraps. The artwork, much of it larger than life size, conveys a great deal of scientific information without ever appearing cluttered. Appended facts about the bug eaters portrayed on these double-page spreads help clarify the details in the illustrations and will be welcomed by curious readers. Although some children may be squeamish at the thought of tasting tarantulas, caterpillars, or dragonflies, the tone is matter-of-fact and nonjudgmental, which should diffuse at least a few groans. A good choice for primary science units; pair this with Doug Florian's informative verses Insectlopedia (1998). –Kay Weisman
"If your lunch was a bug, who could you be? Maybe a nuthatch at work in a tree." Turning these wonderfully painted pages you'll meet birds, animals, reptiles and insects that enjoy munching bugs of all sorts for snacks. The copyright page makes sure to tell us that "bugs" is used as a catchall word for all kinds of insects, spiders and other crawly things, so you'll be able to counter your four-year-old who zaps you with comments about grasshoppers not being bugs. And if you don't enjoy termites, slugs and bugs yourself, watch out for the last two pages showing certain mammals that think they make a fine meal! –Judy Chernak
The gastronomical oddity of eating winged and many-legged creatures is fleetingly examined in a superficial text that looks at animals and people who eat insects. Bugs for breakfast, lunch, and dinner are gobbled up by a shrew, an aardvark, a bear, a gecko, and others. The rhyme scheme limits the information presented; specificity about the types of insects eaten is sacrificed for the sake of making the rhyme flow, e.g., a mouse, a trout, a praying mantis, a nuthatch, and a bat are repeatedly said to eat "bugs" or "insects" in general, rather than naming the mayflies, moths, or grubs they enjoy. An author's note explains her choice of the word bugs for all crawly things; an addendum takes care of other particulars lacking in the text. Long's exacting pen-and-ink style lends a naturalistic perfection to this visual playground of the insect world, enhancing this glimpse of vital link in the food chain.
Here's the buzz from this chipper picture book: though they may not be everyone's favorite dish, bugs make tasty treats for many creatures, even humans. In simple rhyming verse, Facklam (The Big Bug Book) offers a list of critters that regularly dine on insects: "If your lunch was a bug,/ Who could you be?/ Maybe a nuthatch/ At work in a tree... You might be a gecko/ Or maybe a mouse,/ Eating the insects/ In somebody's house." An illustrated glossary expands on these basics, providing a plethora of fun facts. Simultaneously crisp and airy, Long's (Hush Little Baby; Ten Little Rabbits) pen, ink and watercolor compositions capture the natural world in realistic detail. Many young readers will delight in the "yuck" factor of depictions of children eating grubs roasted over a campfire or serving up stir-fried dragonflies on rice.
School Library Journal
Facklam's cheerful, rhyming text introduces the read-to-me set (and beginning readers as well) to a variety of critters whose collation of choice is insects. A bat, a toad, a spider, a Venus flytrap, and even humans are shown catching an assortment of bugs on every eye-catching double-page spread. The excellent pen-and-ink and watercolor illustrations are large, colorful, and realistic, showing not only the designated diner and intended entree, but also a host of other insects, from ladybugs to damselflies, creeping and crawling and flittering about inside and outside of the margins. The closing three pages provide brief, informative paragraphs on each "bug-catcher," emphasizing its hunting methods. Unfortunately, the plethora of prey is largely left unidentified, which will probably lead to frustrating questions from young admirers of this handsome volume. Still, this is an attractive, high-interest book with an intriguing title and dramatic illustrations. –Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY
Scientific American Explorations
This delightful rhyming book is short on words but full on information about bug eaters. Meet a nuthatch, a gecko, a shrew and eight other bug-eating animals, as well as one plant and a surprise diner—a person just like you. On each two-page spread a variety of bugs burst from the margins. Ink-and-watercolor drawings illustrate the bug eaters in simple and inviting settings. At the end of the book, a section called "More about Bugs for Lunch" provides additional tidbits on each bug eater.