The Bug Club | Review
The Bug Club
by Elise Gravel
Drawn & Quarterly, $17.95
Ages 6 and up
Following in the mold of her earlier The Mushroom Fan Club, Elise Gravel has created a wonderful book about her fascination with bugs.
The hardcover feels like a glimpse inside a personal scrapbook, as though a knowledgeable and devoted friend is sharing their interest with the reader. Gravel’s enthusiasm is contagious. It’s a quick read, but packed with content and well worth rereading.
Tons of bug facts are accompanied by friendly, cartoony images. The story is personal — Gravel often mentions how she looked for bugs as a kid — but also peppered with facts. There are definitions (of invertebrate and entomologist), information on bug life cycles and body parts, and a number of profiles of specific, weird insects. My favorite is the pill bug; one of Gravel’s is the stick insect.
Readers will discover information that’s hard to forget, such as what the inside of a snail looks like. The cartoony figures often don’t look like real insects, but the details come across all the same. They’re all the more memorable for the googly eyes Gravel adds to make them into characters.
Johanna Draper Carlson has been reviewing comics for over 20 years. She manages ComicsWorthReading.com, the longest-running independent review site online that covers all genres of comic books, graphic novels, and manga. She has an MA in popular culture, studying online fandom, and was previously, among many other things, webmaster for DC Comics. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin.
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