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Bush Bugs

By Helen Milroy

Reviewed by Mia Macrossan

Helen Milroy is a descendant of the Palyku people of the Pilbara region of Western Australia. Her thoughtfully designed and produced books for children combine stunning colourful artwork with simple accessible text which introduce readers to Australian wildlife. Publications include Crow Baby, Bush Birds, Owl and Star, and Backyard Beasties, all reviewed in StoryLinks.
Helen has dedicated Bush Bugs to ‘everyone who is fascinated by our beautiful bugs’ and if you weren’t fascinated before reading this book you certainly will be by the end. The simple effective design has the short rhyming text on the left page and the bug illustrated centre page on the  right. Each left page is a different colour, strong, bold and rich in tone. That colour is the dominant hue used to illustrate the background and bug on the opposite page.
Mosquito sucks blood to feed her young/ while blowfly loves to eat some dung/ slater scurries off to hide/ but jewel bug roams both far and wide and so on. Added emphasis is given to the verbs in each of these sentences as these words are in a slightly larger font and placed freely on the page. This gives them some extra force and energy.
Any child reading this will learn the meaning of some wonderful verbs, the names and appearance of some common creepy crawlies found in and around homes and countryside and become familiar with a memorable  indigenous art style. It is the perfect stimulus for a study of these creatures and the teaching notes give parents and teachers plenty of ideas.
Another book to treasure, recommended for every home and school library collection.
Teaching Notes
Teaching Activity
Fremantle Press 2024
Helen Milroy


1942 Amsterdam Ave NY (212) 862-3680

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