Monday, March 7, 2016

Bug Zoo by Andy Harkness - A Mom Monday Review

Mom Monday Review

Author: Andy Harkness
Publication Date:  16 February, 2016
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Series:  Stand-alone
Genre:  Children's Picture Book
Age Recommendation: 3 and up
Rating: 4 Stars
~ I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review ~ 

Book Description:

Ben loves bugs: armored, teeny, leggy, greenie, floaty, wingy, jumpy, springy bugs! After a trip to the city zoo, Ben collects all of the bugs he can find and sets up a bug zoo. He couldn't be happier--but what about his bugs?

Gloria's (6) Review:

" I really liked it a lot.  One reason I like it is the part about the bug zoo because I like some bugs a lot.  The pictures are pretty and I like that Ben tries to take care of all the bugs by feeding them.  The Luna moth part is my favorite part because the luna moth is pretty.  My favorite picture is when Ben is watching all his bugs when he lets them go.  Can I sit on the roof at night and watch bugs?  I wish there were more bug plans on the back instead of the same plans on the front. One day we should try the plans mom."  

"I think that Ben is a nice boy because he likes bugs and stuff and he tries to make them happy and lets them go."

Mom's Review:

I really enjoyed sharing this book with my youngest daughter.  The pictures are colorful and eye-catching while being soft at the same time making it perfect for bedtime reading.  Each page has so much going on it will surely keep your youngest listeners/readers engaged with out over stimulating them right before bedtime.  

This is an easy read for both parents (not stumbling over words, yea) and for young readers.  It is especially wonderful for those children who have a keen interest in bugs, but will also (as proven by my 10 year old) keep the attention of the most bug wary.  I enjoyed the concept and story, the learning moment that we can love things but we also have to allow them to be free.  I think it is a story that will resonate on many different levels for people.  As an educator you can use this book as just a fun read but also use it to start a basic dialogue on the virtues of freedom.   I think that is perhaps my as 'the mom' favorite part about this book, that I can take it as simply a gorgeously illustrated enjoyable story or I can stretch it's story to encompass something greater, to use it as a larger part of a learning experience for the youngest of readers/listeners.

I also really enjoyed the little 'field notes' that Ben leaves inside the cover of the book.  I know that both my daughters will be wanting to try them all out (even my bug wary child), I do wish like my 6 year old that the theme had followed onto the back inside cover with different 'field notes' just so we would have more interesting facts and experiments to have fun with.   

This is a great book for parents and Pre-K through First grade teachers to have on their shelf.  Your children will easily get lost in the art work and you will have a fun and meaningful story to share with them.  


Andy Harkness is an illustrator and Art Director at Walt Disney Animation Studios.  He is also the illustrator of one of my favorite short story animations, The Ballad of Nessie.  You can find him at:

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