'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Thursday 18 February 2021

Review: Backyard Bugs

Often it is the simplest of picture books that give us much pleasure just as often it is the simplest of pleasures that inspire stunning picture books. This is one of those and is just a joy all round. 

Most of the small children I have known have been fascinated by mini-beasts from the dancing butterflies to the shimmering dragonflies, the creeping snails to the iridescent Christmas beetles, from dainty ladybugs to bustling self-important ants – all are a source of endless curiosity.

Dr Helen Milroy, of the Palyku people in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, has created in riotous colour a glimpse into her own backyard. 

Each double spread features another tiny critter vibrantly illustrated and admirably brought to life with the use of sumptuous action verbs for each: the earthworm wriggles in the sand, a cricket chirps his happy song.

The gorgeous traditionally styled illustrations alone will inspire many to some art sessions that will provide much cross-cultural discussion, My personal favourite is the spider’s page!

This a super book for carers and teachers to share with the littlest of readers and those who choose to use it in the classroom will greatly appreciate the addition of curriculum-aligned teaching notes.

I highly recommend it for inclusion on your shelves for all budding entomologists. Don’t forget to be prepared with a good butterfly net and pooter, not to mention a magnifying glass!

Title: Backyard Bugs
Author: Dr Helen Milroy
Publisher: Fremantle Press, $19.99
Publication Date: March 2021
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 9781760990282
For ages: 2+
Type: Picture book