Tuesday, November 2, 2010
The Bug That Plagued the Entire Third Grade is a delightful picture book written in rhyme about a boy who wants to win the school's Bug-A-Fair and become Student of the Year.
It all starts when Matt finds a strange-looking bug on his Dad's car. He takes it home, puts it in a jar, and tries to find out what kind of bug it is. But no matter how many books on insects he checks, he can't find it anywhere. Finally, a chance of being recognized at school! Why, the bug could even be a Mighty Bug! Then things get complicated when Matt catches a different kind of bug--the flu! His mom tells him to stay home, but nothing will stop Matt from going to school and winning the fair. Of course, now that he's sick, it isn't only the newly-found bug he brings with him, but also the microscopic one inside his body!
What I really enjoyed about this story is the way the author skillfully combines verse and a complete plot with a clear beginning, middle and end. Each line of verse is essential in moving the tale forward. The book also has a melodic rhythm that young kids will enjoy listening to again and again. The cartoon-like illustrations are simple and colorful. I particularly enjoyed the clever way the author weaves the two types of 'bugs' by playing with the language. This is Lori Calabrese's first children's book but based on this talented debut, I'm sure it won't be her last.
If you're interested in purchasing this book or finding out more about it, visit the author's website at http://www.loricalabrese.com.
Watch the trailer: