Thursday 5 January 2023

Bug Scouts: Out in the Wild!

Bug Scouts: Out in the Wild! by Mike Lowery (Scholastic) PB RRP $7.99 ISBN: 9781338726329

Reviewed by Dannielle Viera

Doug is a bug. His best friend is Abby, a worm. They have formed a Bug Scouts club with a spider named Josh and a lightning bug called Luna. One of the best things about being a Bug Scout is earning a Bug Badge – but when they try to get the Practical Plants Badge by collecting ‘useful herbs and flowers’ on a foraging hike, they almost become dinner for a hungry frog. Josh saves the day by blocking the frog’s tongue with an ‘umbrella’ … which happens to be a very rare elderberry toadstool. The bugs earn their Practical Plants Badge after all.

At just 64 pages in length, Bug Scouts: Out in the Wild! is ideal for kids aged seven to ten who struggle with traditional chapter books. Mike Lowery relies on the graphic-novel format to tell his adventurous tale, which means that there are no long paragraphs to deter hesitant readers. Packed with funny speech bubbles, the story skips along at a speedy pace.

Mike’s bright, childlike illustrations will appeal to youngsters, especially those who love to try to draw characters from books. Hand-rendered panels and handwritten text add to the congeniality of the comical story, while the charming characterisation of each bug is sure to captivate kids and keep them reading.

With simple vocabulary, easy-to-follow panels, and illustrations that support comprehension, Bug Scouts: Out in the Wild! is the perfect book to entice unwilling readers. It is likely to encourage them to create their own graphic novel, further enhancing their literacy skills.

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