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FACE BUG by J. Patrick Lewis

in the middle of last year, the good folks at Wordsong sent me a review copy of a poetry collection that frankly makes me a bit antsy. It's called FACE BUG: Poems, and the poems are written by former Children's Poet Laureate J. Patrick Lewis. The book features photographs of the actual bug faces by Frederic B. Siskind as well as illustrations by Kelly Murphy. The former are scientifically accurate, and the latter don't creep me out nearly as much. Because BUGS!

The book contains 15 poems, comprised of an introductory poem plus 14 poems about individual insects, ranging from the Hickory Horned Devil to the Nursery Web Spider to the Goldenrod Stowaway Moth to the cover bug, the Praying Mantis. The poems include facts about the bugs, and there is additional back matter that provides details about their habitat, feeding habits, and more.

Here is one of my favorite poems from the book, with its accompanying page:

Dogday Harvestfly Cicada
Tibicen canicularis

Bug's one ugly
Nut to crack.
Is that Bugly's
Front or back?

What?! Two faces
On this mutt?
Creepy. Never
Mind his butt.

Front or top view,
What the heck?
He's a head-on
Insect wreck.

Go on, touch him--
All he does
Is ask, "Who's there?"
In wonder-buzz.

A terrific book for kids who are interested in learning scientific facts about bugs, as well as kids who appreciate poems about the same subject, and a great addition to any school library, since it includes the best of all worlds: wonderful photos, explanatory drawings, factual matter, and great poetry.

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