A kaleidoscopic beetle-tastic non-fiction extravaganza.

Title: A Beetle is Shy
Author: Dianna Hutts Aston
Illustrator: Sylvia Long
Rating: 9
Readability:  9
Source: Raincoast Books for review

Description from Goodreads:

The award-winning duo of Dianna Hutts Aston and Sylvia Long team up again, this time creating a gorgeous look at the fascinating world of beetles. From flea beetles to bombardier beetles, an incredible variety of these beloved bugs are showcased here in all their splendor. Poetic in voice and elegant in design, this carefully researched and visually striking book is perfect for sparking children’s imaginations in both classroom reading circles and home libraries.

What I Thought:

This visually stunning book is not only beautiful to behold but also wonderfully informative.

The rich, bold colours and eye-pleasing symmetry almost make me want to stick it up on my wall and frame it. (Why don’t we frame books? We totally should! Okay that’s officially a new thing.) The illustrations of each beetle are bright, detailed and gorgeous.

The text is written out to look like poem stanzas, but the lines don’t rhyme, which was interesting. It was different and it worked well with the beauty and science of the book.

Evelyn is a little freaked out by bugs (okay a lot freaked out. She hates them.) but she still loved pouring through this book and loved asking a thousand questions about beetles.

This would be the perfect book for teacher or homeschoolers to use for younger students as an introduction to a unit on bugs. Words like “bioluminescence” and “mandibles” are used and then explained, so it’s great for learning new vocabulary as well.

And of course everyone’s favourite poop-roller, the dung beetle, made an appearance. Such a crowd-pleaser!


Here’s links to the author’s website: Dianna Hutts Aston
And the illustrator’s: Sylvia Long

And a video of a dung beetle kung fu fight narrated by David Attenborough (yes there’s even sound effects):



The new gold-standard for beetle literature.