Looking for light summer reading for the whole family? How about a few poems about bugs?

Cricket in the Thicket

Cricket in the Thicket: Poems About Bugs by Carol Murray and illustrated by Melissa Sweet is a delightful example of what can happen when a Kansas author and a Caldecott Honor–winning illustrator collaborate.

Short poems feature bugs that will be familiar to nearly every Kansas child, and children from other places, as well:

  • Crickets.
  • Ladybugs.
  • Roly-poly bugs.
  • Monarchs.
  • Termites.
  • Cockroaches.
  • Honeybees.
  • Fireflies.
  • And many others.

The poems are lighthearted and humorous (“Par-Tick-U-Lar-Ly Awesome”), making even “gross” bugs fun and friendly. The mixed-media illustrations showcase the heroes of the book in entertaining poses—soaring, eating, lighting up the night, and embarking on various other adventures.

As an especially nice touch, each poem is followed by facts about the insect in question, and more facts come at the end of the book. You’ll probably smile at the sweet presentation of familiar bug antics, but you’ll probably learn something new, too. (Parents may want to address the evolutionary time frame.)

Written for children, particularly younger ones, but likely to be a hit with all ages. A quick read that is sure to entertain—perfect for summer.

Helpful Resource

Insects in Kansas
Now that you have a budding entomologist on your hands, follow up with this handy field guide.