Hey Little Bug: Poems for Little Creatures

This collection of poems, with its large print and cutsiness, is clearly aimed at young children. The eponymous shape poem on the bright yellow back cover proclaims “even the ugliest bug needs a hug”.

If this doesn’t put you off then proceed to page one!

The book begins as a suite of poems on insects, then broadens out to include animals and other unrelated topics. We’re in a rather conventional children’s book world here. Grasshoppers jump, bears covet honey; children jump in puddles. Things in general happen in a comfortable, predictable fashion. The style of the verse is, overall, simple, although this restricted linguistic palette can nevertheless be quite effective at times. There’s plenty of rhythmic repetition and, of course, rhyming.

Fledgling readers will probably be appeased, and although this grumpy old reader  initially found the book’s anodyne pages tiresome, I did revise my opinion to some extent as I read on. The second half of the book in particular, which deals more with our human world, seen with a child’s preoccupations, contains some perfectly serviceable, if not exactly original or distinctive, poems for children in the lower primary range. Attractively illustrated by Mique Moriuchi.