The Bug Girl (A True Story)
The Bug Girl (A True Story)
I couldn’t believe how many people around the world loved bugs as much as I did. And how many of them were grown-up women!
There were scientists who wrote about the work they do in their labs. Others shared videos of themselves with bugs on their arms and sent pictures of themselves hunting bugs in the wild.
One scientist had discovered six new species of bugs…and they were all named after her!
I looked at these messages day after day.
“All these people love bugs,” I said to my mom.
“They do.” She said.
“And they’re not weird.”
Nope,” said mom. “They’re curious, just like you.”
Sophia has loved bugs since the day that she and her mom had visited the conservatory where a butterfly flew onto her shoulder and stayed with her through the entire visit. Sophia was two-and-a-half years old. After this illuminating moment, Sophia becomes consumed with learning everything that she can about bugs. While other children enjoyed storybooks, Sophia preferred bug books. While other children watched cat videos, Sophia preferred bug videos. As Sophia describes what she has learned about bugs, the reader learns many interesting bug facts that are interwoven throughout her story. Sophia is very happy to share her love and interest of bugs with everyone, especially her classmates.
Unfortunately, as the children become older, they are no longer interested in Sophia’s enthusiastic bug exchange that is no longer cool to them. Some of her classmates begin to bully her, so much so that Sophia decides to take a break from bugs. Seeing how unhappy her daughter was, Sophia’s mom emailed a group of entomologists hoping for some support for her daughter. Bug scientists from around the world offered advice and information to Sophia. She was thrilled to learn that so many people love bugs as much as she does. Sophia has found her contemporaries. Sophia becomes a social-media sensation and is included in an article written by entomologist Morgan Johnson, and she appears on television.
Sophia’s growing confidence helps her to find new friends and interests while continuing to study bugs. She continues to share her passion with others by writing a book entitled “Sophia’s Big Book of Bugs” which is included at the end of Sophia’s story. The book is filled with interesting facts about bugs, including information about Sophia’s four favorites, the life cycle of the butterfly and suggestions on how the reader can go out and study bugs.
The Bug Girl (A True Story) is based on the real life experiences of the author Sophia Spencer, written with the assistance of author Margaret McNamara. I found the book to be charming, uplifting and empowering. This is a great read for all young children and especially those who may have interests that may not be shared with their friends.
The illustrations are created with ink, watercolour and coloured pencil by husband and wife team, Kerascoët. The pictures are expressive and detailed and work hand in hand with the text to add a natural vibrancy to help tell the story of this unique little girl.
Tamara Opar is the Youth Services Head Librarian for Children’s and Teen Services at Millennium Library in Winnipeg, Manitoba.