Archive for Insects

Noisy Bug Sing-Along

Written and Illustrated by John Himmelman

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Each little bug in this creative presentation has a fresh and intricate image and is identified by the noises it makes. The second grade reader will come away knowing exactly what field crickets look like and have a good idea what their “chirp”-ing sounds like. Colorful two-page spreads follow for tree crickets (reee-), mole crickets(dirt-dirt-dirt), click beetles (click), tiger moths (squeaka), dog-day cicadas (ZZZZ), bumble bees (zzzz), mosquitoes (mmmm), butterflies (…), true katydids (ch-ch-ch), bush katydids (tick-tick-tick zeezeezeezee), and grasshoppers (keraack). Last, the author brings all the sounds together in a vibrant chorus, decorated with sound waves.

The illustrations are at least as important to this book as the words. Most children of this age have probably never stopped to take a close look at or listen to different types of bugs. The detail is unbelievable, with each tiny dirt fragment accounted for in the mole cricket drawing. The bat hunting the tiger moth is very genuine. Even the ear into which the mosquito flies is realistic.

The “Listening to the Noisy Bugs” section provides a lot of possibilities for reading activities. For example, readers can go on the publisher’s website,, and listen to real bug noises. Then, the reader can test herself by guessing what bug she’s listening to. In “About the Noisy Bugs,” the author shares more about each type of bug. For example, dog-day cicadas have hollow abdomens, like drums. They tighten and loosen the muscles there to make the ZZZZ sound. The author’s website,, also has resources to use.

  • Noisy BugTitle: Noisy Bug Sing-Along
  • Author/Illustrator: John Himmelman
  • Publisher: Dawn Publications
  • Reviewer: Sue Poduska
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • ISBN: 978-1-58469-192-1
  • Genre: Picture book, Insects, Nature