by Julia DurangoSyndetic Solutions - [Book Review for 9780689855696]
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—Competition is stiff at the annual "Pest Fest" talent show. Vying for the coveted title of "Best Pest of the Year," Ladybug sings a song that can "make the Manbugs swoon," and Firefly boasts of being a "lighthouse in the sky." Housefly feels woefully inadequate. Compared to Butterfly or Honeybee, his looks "rate a zero" and he lacks the musical touch of such "expert noise creator[s]" as Cricket and Cicada. He reluctantly enters the contest, confessing, "The only thing I do all day/is hang around...pester dogs...heckle humans." His talents are praised and this "Prince of Persecution" is crowned the winner. The rhyming verses capture amusing verbal jousting among the insects. Cyrus's watercolor and colored-pencil illustrations offer stunning close-ups of the contestants, showing lush views of the streamside setting from their down-to-earth perspective. The final pages contain a creepy, crawly surprise for a snoozing fisherman who unwittingly becomes a part of the festivities. Young entomologists will go buggy for this book.—Linda Ludke, London Public Library, Ontario, Canada
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