Saturday, April 15, 2006

I'm A Pill Bug

I'm A Pill Bug by Yukihisa Tokuda, illustrated by Kiyoshi Takahasi

The Plot: A non-fiction book about the pill bug.

The Good: The book begins with asking the reader, what am I? "A ball? No, not a ball." And since I had just finished Duck & Goose, which involves mistaking a ball for an egg, I was very amused.

This is non-fiction that is perfect for the younger set (ages 3 to 7): the vocabulary is accurate yet not too sophisticated; the details are interesting; and the illustrations are engaging. Cool details include what pill bugs eat (practically everything including their own old shells -- gross) and that they are constantly pooping (and the illustration -- as you can see from the cover -- does include the square shaped poop.) The illustrations also include a page that shows "this is how big I really am." I also liked that the book didn't dumb itself down: included, in a very matter of fact manner, is information on how pill bugs protect themselves from ants (rolling themselves into a ball) and how that works with ants but frogs? Not so much.

The kids I read it with immediately identified the bug: "we have them in our yard!" And added a threat to pill bugs not addressed in the book: "we step on them."

The Edge of the Forest Review is at Vol. 1, Issue 2.

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