Read more books ’bout bugs!

Learning about Bugs (and Books, and Character, and…) in Summer Reading 2008

by Claire Ramsey

Imagine the world from the view of a bug! An ant, a fly, a bee — or from a real bug, like a shield-bug — or one of the things that looks like a bug, but isn’t, (like a spider!).

Actually, sadly, you don’t even have to imagine — all you have to do is rent A Bug’s Life or The Ant Bully for the zillionth time.

But let’s think outside the anthill for a minute! 2008’s collaborative summer reading program, “Catch the Reading Bug!,” gives all of us — students, parents, librarians, and storytellers alike — a great opportunity. There is so much to be said about bugs (and insects and spiders and…) that no movie could cover it all, anymore than one story or one fact could say it all about the nearly ten million species of insect on planet Earth. And this storyteller wants to grab that opportunity faster than Mom grabs a flyswatter and present a program that celebrates the enormous world of tiny insects: Read More Books ‘Bout Bugs!

I began storytelling when I took a storytelling class in library school, and spent nearly ten years as a librarian reading stories, learning stories, telling stories, and loving stories. My latest program, Read More Books ‘Bout Bugs!, is designed to entertain and to unobtrusively educate kids of all ages in bug stories, bug lore, bug facts, and bug books. A story should rarely be a thing that one person tells while all the others listen — far from it! The energy of a story comes from the questions, answers, and challenges of the audience, resulting in a story in which all share, all participate.

How many legs does an insect have? What is the difference between a bug and an insect? What do we usually call an arachnid? The stories of Read More Books ‘Bout Bugs! not only encourage kids to explore and learn the answers to these questions and many more, but are also heaped with character education, imagination, and adventure. They feature bug heroes (The Grasshopper and the Ant), bug villains (How the Mosquito Came to Be), bugs who learn and survive (The Royal Flea), and people who learn from bugs (The Fly on the Fencepost). Even the Wisest King in the World learned wisdom from a bug. Please join me and schools and libraries all across the state in celebrating that incredible survivor, the bug! (Especially, stop in at the Perry Library this summer and check out what reading fun Library Lady Leigh will have planned!)

I will be showcasing Read More Books ‘Bout Bugs! at the Summer Reading workshop in Wilmington, NC on February 25. For more information about Stories With Claire, or to contact me for a program, check out my website at