~Reviewed by Amanda Smith
Dirt and Bugsy are friends and bug catchers. They dig, lift, and sift to find all kinds of creepies and crawlies, but when it starts to rain, Dirt and Bugsy are concerned for their new bug friends. They come up with a marvelous plan to keep the bugs dry.
Dirt and Bugsy: Bug Catchers by Megan Litwin, illustrated by Shuana Lynn Panczyszyn (Penguin Young Readers, February 2023) is an entertaining Level 2 book for progressing readers. Its conversational tone, action packed pages, and engaging story-line will get new readers’ brains buzzing. The bright color palette, detailed bug illustrations, and kids’ joyful expressions add to a fun reading experience that will ignite a love for bugs and books (and more bug-books!)! And the bug-catcher tips in the back are sure to lure readers outside for their own arthropod adventures.
Lower elementary teachers will want to snatch up Dirt and Bugsy: Bug Catchers for their classrooms, and keep their nets at hand for Dirt and Bugsy: Beetle Mania that will hatch in June!
Megan’s experience as a former teacher and reading specialist is evident on every page of Bug Catchers. If your work-in-progress is an early reader, study Bug Catchers for rhyming refrains with similar sounds that make decoding easy and familiar for young readers. Megan employs the repetition of words and sounds in close proximity, as well as alliteration and assonance in the text, making this fun adventure accessible, even to reluctant readers. The text swarms with playfulness, humor, and a fun pun at the end. Megan certainly knows how to capture young readers “again, and again, and again…” and a close study of her work can help bring the same success to your manuscript.
To learn more about Megan Litwin, her books, events and workshops, visit https://www.meganlitwinbooks.com/about. You can see more of Shauna Lynn’s cheerful art here: https://shaunalynn.com/
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