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Candlewick Press

Copyright © 2016 Lisa Moser
Illustrations Copyright © 2016 Gwen Millward

Floral Wreath 2

The story

The garden is old and forgotten, so the bugs move in one by one by one. Stories from Bug Garden is a collection of 13 prose poems and short stories about each of the bugs who lives in the garden. Join Ladybug, Horsefly, Butterfly, Dragonfly, Bee, Roly-Poly, Big Ant, Little Ant, Cricket, Earthworm, Snail, and Lightning Bug as they make friends and share adventures, and learn to call the garden Home.

Flower Garland 5

How it was written. . .

Some days of my childhood are so etched into my memory, they feel as if they happened yesterday. One of the happiest, most carefree days was the inspiration to this book, Stories from Bug Garden. I was on a Girl Scout trip, and our leader took us to her acreage for a day of playing and exploring. There was this little stream that cut through a meadow, and I remember falling in love with it. I spent the entire sun-drenched afternoon playing by that stream, building villages and dams, digging pools and moats, and inventing all sorts of stories. I felt free and happy in that imaginary world that I created. That day was one of those gifts from God that I will always cherish.

I, also, remember hot, slow, dreamy Iowa summer days where I laid in the grass and studied whatever was happening around me. I I would watch a parade of ants marching a piece of bread back to their colony. I would spy ladybugs on stems of grass and try to count their spots before they flew away. But the best bug memories of all happened at my school, Pence Elementary. My family would walk to the school at dusk and sit on the playground field, waiting. And then, one small glimmer would appear. Then another. Before long, the whole field was lit up with lightning bugs. My sister, Sindy, and I would catch them in our hands and marvel at their brilliant lights. We’d let them go and have another glorious chase.

Stories from Bug Garden is a tribute to all of those childhood memories. It’s a salute to playing outside, creating imaginary worlds and then coming home. Home is where the porch light glows brightly, beckoning us in. Home is where love lives.





• "Compactly told in short lines, these pieces are part beginning-reader stories and part poetry. In spirit they remind me of Arnold Lobel's wonderful Frog and Toad books…These tales carry a sense of purpose, of meaning more than what's apparent. At their best they feel like little puffs of wisdom. Millward's watercolor, ink and pencil drawings highlight the stories' whimsy; her google-eyed characters and obsessive, scribbly vegetation add up to a rousing expression of cheer."

-The New York Times Book Review - Paul O. Zelinsky

• "An abandoned garden is the setting for joyful play by an array of small creatures.  Prose poems, set on or next to doodly, delicate drawings, introduce this garden’s inhabitants, whose activities will appeal to young readers and listeners. . . With plentiful dialogue, these short scenes will be fun to read aloud.  Whimsical and delightful, a celebration of imagination. "

- Kirkus Reviews November 25, 2015

 • "In 13 poetic stories, Moser (Kisses on the Wind) and Millward (How Do You Hug a Porcupine?) take readers on a whimsical jaunt into a garden buzzing with anthropomorphic insects. Playful language and exchanges dominate. “You know you’re not a horse,” Butterfly tells Horsefly as he gallops from flower to flower. “Well, you’re not butter, either,” retorts Horsefly. . . This pleasurable read will win over preschoolers and parents alike as it offers gentle reflections on persistence, pleasure, and perspective. "

- Publisher’s Weekly

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