The Bug That Plagued the Entire Third Grade by Lori Calabrese, illustrated by Chet Taylor; Kittycat Book/Dragonfly Publishing, Inc. (August 2010); ISBN 9781936381050; 24 pages
Book Source: Copy provided by author
'Mom said, "You've caught a bug. Hop back into bed. I'll make chicken soup. We don't want this to spread."
"But I did catch a bug. I have to go in. The Bug-A-Fair's today. I know I can win."'
Lori Calabrese recently released her first children's book, The Bug That Plagued the Entire Third Grade. Her book puts a humorous spin on the phrase, "I've caught a bug," commonly used when referring to an illness. Third-grader Matt discovers an unusual insect on his Dad's car and excitedly puts it in a bottle to take to his school's Bug-A-Fair. He hopes to win top prize showing off his special bug. Unfortunately, things take a turn for the worse. The morning of the Bug-A-Fair, Matt catches another type of bug, the cold bug! He insists on going to school and creates havoc in more ways than one.
It's tempting to go to work or school even if you're sick, especially when an important event is taking place. However, as Calabrese's book illustrates, this action is inconsiderate because you expose others your illness. My daughter loves school so much that she was in tears when she found out she was going to miss a day of school due to a fever and illness last month. But, after reading Calabrese's book together, she was able to better understand why it is best to stay home when she "catches a bug." The story, told in rhyming verse, tackles a serious topic in a silly, fun way that kids will enjoy.
Also worth mentioning -- the insect featured in the book, the Hines Emerald Dragonfly, is actually a real bug found in Illinois, Michigan, Missouri and Wisconsin. This type of dragonfly is truly rare. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Hines Emerald Dragonfly is on the endangered species list. Calabrese creatively manages to educate and inform about two seemingly separate subjects by wrapping them together in a cute story. Ironically, her book is published by a small press named Dragonfly Publishing, Inc! I wish she would have included even more factual information about the interesting, endangered dragonfly in her book. Calabrese's website includes pdf teaching guides about germs, extinction, and other book related activities.
Lori Calabrese - Author Website
Lori Calabrese blog
Thanks to Lori Calabrese, one Brimful Curiosities reader will win an autographed paperback copy of The Bug That Plagued the Entire Third Grade.
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