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Sunday, July 16, 2017

My Awesome Summer by P. Mantis. Written and illustrated by Paul Meisel. Holiday House, Thomas Allen & Son. 2017. $26.50 ages 3 and up


All the aphids are gone.
I'm hungry.
Growing so fast!
I ate one of my brothers.
Okay, maybe two.


I ate another brother."

She is a praying mantis, and she is our narrator. Through her observations and confessions we learn much about her world and the role she plays in it. It is nature in all its glory, with its strange and surprising happenings. Through three seasons, she describes what life is like for her as she manages to find sustenance, escape certain death to those predators who would find her delectable, and shed her skin numerous times as she continues to grow.

She is open and upfront about her eating habits:

"For a pipsqueak I've
got some sharp teeth.
My razor arms
are superfast, too!

A grasshopper hopped
next to me. I grabbed
him before he could
say Jiminy Cricket."

She is funny, and matter of fact. Hunger is the root for all action, until she finally finds her way back to her birthplace bush. There she lays her eggs, protects them in an egg case and takes a well-deserved 'nap'.

Rich and colorful forest images are detailed and grab attention. Endpapers contain plenty of further information, a labelled illustration, and websites for further investigation.

""The praying mantis has a triangle-shaped
head that, like the human head, can swivel
on its neck. It has one ear and two large eyes.
During the day it can see objects as far as
50 feet away."


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