From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 2—In jazzy rhyming couplets, a young boy describes an unusual sight: "I was strollin' on home through the woods the other night,/When I saw something a-flashin'—it was shinin' mighty bright!/It was blinkin' and a-winkin' near the bottom of a tree,/So I scurried on over just to see what I could see." A delightful illustration shows the narrator peering in through a small door at an exuberant insect gala where imaginatively conceived bugs crowd the dance floor. Jaunty rhymes detail the event and its various attendees, including a colony of Ants who shake "…their behinds/Like they had people in their pants," a fanciful Humbug who "drummed with a stick" in each of his six hands, and a trumpet-blowing Termite who "…played a TAT-a-TAT-a-TOOT,/While the Ladybug was groovin' on her tiny little flute." Vibrant hues and frenetic energy suffuse the artwork, and the close-up images of the featured musicians are charmingly detailed. This antic tale will be fun to read aloud; just practice the pacing. Children will gleefully chime in with the onomatopoeic sounds ("Froppit! Froppit!," "Weedle? Weedle?," "Freega. Freega.") and the repeated refrain: "The Bugtown Boogie, shakin' up the woods tonight." Pair this with Joyce Maxner's Nicholas Cricket
(HarperCollins, 1989) and David Kirk's Miss Spider's Tea Party
(Scholastic, 1994) for a bug-themed romp.—Kirsten Cutler, Sonoma County Library, CA
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About the Author
Warren Hanson has been writing and illustrating children's books for the last twenty years. He's the author of Grandpa Has a Great Big Face, the author and illustrator of The Next Place, and the illustrator of the Peef books and A Cup of Christmas Tea. He lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota, with his wife, Patty.
Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher are an illustration team with more than forty picture books in print. Their work has garnered rave reviews and won awards. Their books include My Many Colored Days, Bebop Express, I Walk at Night, New York's Bravest, The Velveteen Rabbit, and The Salamander Room. They were also concept artists for Pixar's Toy Story and A Bug's Life. They live in California with their son.