by Niki Masse Schoenfeldt
John Wes Thomas, illustrator
Press Release: One wintery eve a lady bug decides to come in from the cold and warm herself in a little girl’s bed. The girl thinks the visitor is a bedbug and reaches for a can of bug spray, but the lady bug stands her ground and convinces her that not all bugs are bad.
I found the bug spray, aimed the can.
“My mom is right,” the bug began.
“She says it is so very sad
That humans think all bugs are bad.”
Mom tucks her little girl into bed and, while leaving says, “Don’t let the bed bugs bite.” The little girl is startled, afraid a bed bug will bite her toes. Mom explains the saying was how some people said good night a long time ago. The explanation did nothing to ease the young girl’s mind. When a ladybug decides to hibernate indoors in the warmth, the little girl jumps into bug spray mode. The ladybug and the little girl go back and forth with their beliefs about each other until they reach an understanding along with a compromise.
Not many kids may have heard the saying ‘don’t let the bed bugs bite’ and so might react in a similar manner as the little girl. It is an odd saying to use for good night, but someone somewhere started this and it caught on, despite the fact that a bed bug biting is a nasty possibility. It is understandable the little girl would put bug spray in her room, just in case. I like that the ladybug called the girl on making assumptions and grabbing the bug spray. Her mom believes all humans are bad and the little girl thinks this about bugs. Who is right? Is anyone right?
Rhyming a picture book takes talent. The author has done a great job, keeping the flow natural with a nice consistent beat. The verses are easy to read aloud and parents worried about reading the book multiple times can relax.
The illustrations are adorable. The ladybug wears pink bunny slippers, a pink bathrobe, and pink bows tied onto each of her probes (left out of the illustrations). She is also holding a teddy bear, and looking sleepy. The art looks like colored pencil and ink pen lines to add highlight lines. The artist gave the little girl expressive eyes and lips.
There is a lot of pink on every page, so I doubt little boys would enjoy this book much, but they might still like the story. Young girls will love this book. Not only does it look like a book made for girls, with all its shades of pink, the very cute ladybug will draw them into the story. The little girl is nameless so she can be anyone, even the reader.
Don’t Let the Bedbugs Bite is a cute story about first impressions, false impressions, and the use of communication to work out differences to arrive at a compromise. It may not be about a general appeal subject, yet it shows readers some very important life principles. The ladybug did a good job making her case and developing the compromise. I think the two will be storybook friends forever.
by Niki Masse Schoenfeldt author bio blog facebook twitter John Wes Thomas, illustrator website blog blog author bio Shenanigan Books website blog facebook twitter Released October 1, 2012 ISBN: 978-1-934860-13-7 32 Pages Ages: 4 to 8 . Copyright © 2012 by Shenanigan Books, used with permission Text: Copyright © 2012 by Niki Masse Schoenfeldt Illustrations: Copyright © 2012 by John Wes Thomas
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