J. Patrick Lewis
Illustrations by Kelly Murphy
Photographs by Frederic B. Siskind
Poetry Picture Book
For ages 6 to 10
Boyds Mills Press, 2013, 978-1-59078-925-4
Come one, come all! The Face Bug Museum is open, and insects, spiders, and their guests are invited to take a look at the photographs that is on display. The photographers who took the pictures feel that “you never really know bugs till you look them in the eye,” which is why all the photographs focus on the heads and faces of insects and spiders. Bring your camera and be prepared to be amazed, and perhaps even shocked. Don’t worry if the faces make you feel faint. Tiny Vet is “standing by” to treat anyone who gets the heebie geebies.
We begin with the Hickory Horned Devil, which is the larva of a moth. The creature in the photo looks like a cross between a porcupine and a “Country-colored coral reef,” and it is certainly scary, but in reality this caterpillar is a gentle creature and the only living thing that needs fear it are the leaves it snacks on.
In the next photo we see the head of an Eastern Carpenter Bee. Though they look threatening, these bees are not a danger to anyone. They do like to drill holes in wood though, so you might find their holes in your home if it is made out of wood.
Further on in the show you will meet the Bush Katydid. This rather showy insect is standing on a stage in front of its photograph and it has happy to talk about itself. It admits that it looks rather like a grasshopper, but its green body can make it look like a leaf in the right surroundings, which is handy in a world that is full of predators. In addition to being a master of camouflage, the katydid is a singer and a “petty thief.”
In this memorable book Patrick Lewis’ amusing poems are paired with wonderful photos and amusing illustrations to give young readers a tour through a museum that is unlike any other. Information about each insect or spider species is incorporated into the poems. Readers will also find additional facts about the fourteen creepy crawlies featured in the show at the back of the book. Children will get to know the insect and spider characters that appear on the pages, and they may even finding themselves growing fond of them.