Non-Fiction Picture Book
Ages 2 to 6
Written by Yukihisa Tokuda
Illustrated by Kiyoshi Takahashi
When I was a child, like many children, I enjoyed playing with bugs. Pill bugs (also known as roly-polies or potato bugs) were always easy to find: all I needed to do was lift a rock or a piece of wood. The small, gray, harmless creatures were ubiquitous and, when touched, would curl up into perfect little balls. Despite all my experience with theses tiny guys, I’m A Pill Bug taught me many fascinating things.
Realistically illustrated in cut paper collage, this non-fiction book follows the life of a pill bug, as narrated by a pill bug.
Using simple and clear language this book offers a wealth of information regarding the life and habitat of these mini crustaceans. They are not insects, as readers will learn: pill bugs are related to crabs and shrimp.
Young listeners will also learn what pill bugs eat: basically everything, including dead plants, dead leaves, newspapers and cardboard. With all that eating, these bugs also do a lot of pooping. Some youngsters (some adults too) may be amused to learn that a pill bug’s poop is square; some may also take pleasure in pointing out those telltale square specks throughout the pages of the book.
In addition to all the decaying organic matter, pill bugs also need to eat stones and concrete to aid in their digestion. That’s why they live near people, and their concrete walls and buildings.
To defend themselves against ants, pill bugs roll themselves into a ball—hence the common nickname, roly poly. Pill bugs also shed their shells many times as they grow. First they shed the rear half; the next day they shed the front half. And at the end of fall, when it starts to get cold, they dig deep down in the ground and sleep until spring.
In addition to all this information, the last three pages offer instructions on how to hold a pill bug and even safely keep one as a guest in your home.
But remember to return him to the outdoors before fall, “He’ll want to be with his family during the cold winter!”
These little creatures, everywhere under our feet, are introduced to readers in this simple yet fully informative book. Not only do we learn that they’re helpful, they turn out to be lovable too!
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