Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Pest Fest

Pest Fest

Julia Durango
Illustrator:  Kurt Cyrus 
Picture Book
For ages 4 to 7
Simon and Schuster, 2007   ISBN: 978-0689855696

Come one come all! Gather round and let us see who is the most talented pest of all! The Carpet Beetle is calling together all of the insects to see which of them is going to win this most unusual talent contest. The Ladybug, Butterfly and Honeybee get into a discussion about who is the most attractive insect and have to be reminded that this is a talent and not a beauty contest.

Then the Cricket and the Cicada fuss at each other about which of them makes the better noise. Little Housefly is feeling very small indeed for he cannot make any lovely music or a loud noise.

Next Spider shows off her legs from her “sticky web estate” and is countered by Grasshopper and Water strider who both think their six legs are far better than Spider’s eight. And once again, Housefly is made to feel very inadequate indeed for he feels that he has no talent at all so tell his fellow insects about.

Except of course, he then explains, he does spend his days driving dogs, cats, and bulls mad. He bothers humans, driving them to distraction. And then the Carpet Beetle begins to realize that Housefly is just the insect that they are all looking for. For Housefly is “the ace of aggravation,” “the Prince of Persecution.”

In this stunningly illustrated picture book, children will get to explore the world of insects in a very up close and personal way. Children will see the insect characters just as they are in real life and they will see things from their level, which it both interesting and curious. The characters are funny and entertaining and as children read about them they will learn a little about insect biology and behavior. They will certainly find themselves gaining a certain amount of respect for these tiny creatures which do indeed have so many talents.

A cleverly constructed text with gorgeous artwork makes this a title which children will want to come back to again and again. After all, who can resist meeting The Best Pest!