|Burt the beetle doesn't bite!|
Author: Spires, Ashley
Burt, a ten-lined June beetle is sure he belongs in the category of bugs with superpower-like abilities. June beetles don't have any special abilities. But when some other bugs find themselves in perilous trouble that even their superpowers can't get them out of, Burt suddenly realizes that he can save his friends. In graphic novel format.
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Kirkus Reviews (05/01/21)
School Library Journal (03/01/21)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 03/01/2021 PreS-Gr 3—Insect facts, humor, and a wise-cracking beetle come together in this graphic novel. Captioned panels introduce a handful of remarkable insects. Burt the Beetle observes and wishes that he had special abilities of his own. After watching a stink bug in action, he comments: "Wow! Super gross. But also super cool." Burt can't do much more than fly or crawl. Illustrations show him losing a race to a snail, crashing when he attempts to fly, and repeatedly winding up on his back and asking, "Little help?" When his more talented friends all end up caught in a spider's web, however, Burt uses his sticky legs to hug the spider, preventing the predator from eating his pals, and then takes the web apart by crashing into it with his heavy body. Humorous cartoon artwork and effective panel layouts contribute greatly to the humorous tone. Burt's subtly varied facial expressions are endearing. Though Spires combines information, such as the strength of ants, with fictional elements, the lighthearted tone makes it all work without being too confusing to young readers. VERDICT An engaging fact and fiction mix with an appealing beetle protagonist. As with Doreen Cronin's "Diary" books and Elise Gravel's "Disgusting Critters" series, most young readers will have no trouble digesting the facts while also enjoying the humor and the story.—Steven Engelfried, Wilsonville P.L., OR - Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 03/15/2021 Burt is a lovable, 10-lined June beetle who is proud to star in this book about backyard bugs and denies having any resemblance to a tiny watermelon (he’s a dead ringer). His physical features are briefly highlighted before the text turns to other bugs’ superpower-like abilities, such as ants’ impressive strength and termites’ paralyzing venom. Burt offers entertaining commentary, but the real comedy is found in the exchanges between Burt and the book’s unseen narrator, who insists that June beetles don’t have any super abilities. Burt sets off to prove otherwise, finally finding his time to shine at a dangerous spiderweb. Beginning readers are in for a treat with this silly offering, which immediately brings to mind Elise Gravel’s Disgusting Critters series. Thick black lines and muted retro colors contrast well with the simple backdrops, and readers can easily sift the facts from the fiction, with invented dialogue always appearing in characters’ speech balloons and basic facts contained in gold bands on the tops or bottoms of panels. Fun, funny, and factual—well, sort of. - Copyright 2021 Booklist.