Beetle Mania

“Are you sure you want to read that again? Don’t you want to watch some TV instead?” I swear I never thought these words would come out of my mouth. That was before my son found The Beetle Book by Steve Jenkins.

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I actually love this book — it’s beautifully illustrated and very informative yet on a level that apparently even a three-year-old can comprehend. But read anything six times a day and you will roll your eyes the seventh time around.

Jed now knows every type of beetle you could possibly imagine. He can tell you which ones are poisonous, and which beetle can sense fire from 20 miles away. He amazes adults as he refers to the rose chafer beetle and longhorn beetle. And he giggles as he talks about the dung beetle. He also now thinks every wasp is actually a wasp beetle, so I have to remind him that it most likely is indeed a wasp and not its harmless counterpart in disguise. And if I refer to a ladybug, he quickly corrects me, “It’s a ladybird beetle.” We’re actually both right, but it tickles me just the same.

We returned it to the library a couple of days ago and I breathed a sigh of relief. Until, that is, Jed asked if we could check out another beetle book. I’m not sure how many beetle books there are out there, but I have a feeling I’m about to find out. I’m not keen on another beetle book, but I would love to read more from Steve Jenkins. He’s written some other animal and science books that have his wonderful illustrations, only look a little more toddler-specific, like these collaborations with Robin Page: 


I emailed Steve Jenkins to let him know what a great fan he has in Jed and he was so sweet to respond within a day. He’s actually from a town less than two hours from where we live though he lives in Colorado now. I hope he’ll come back this way to do a reading and book signing. The nice guy he is, he said he’d be sure to tell us if and when this happens. And when it does happen, I know who’ll be first in line.

I also see an Amazon purchase in my future. I’ve enjoyed my beetle break, but it can’t last forever with a son who loves beetles as much as Jed does. I just try to put things in perspective: at least he’s not obsessed with guns and fighting. Or golf. I really loathe golf.

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