Books | Bug Safari

“The events described here actually happened to me,” intones the narrator of this “safari” memoir. “The things I learned are recorded to the best of my memory.” But the sober set-up is just that—a lead-in to a romp of a tale with a surprise ending. The artwork is the first clue. Using his trademark eye-poppingly bright cut and torn paper, Barner zooms in on the ground-level action of a trail of black ants. The narrator, a boy in a pith helmet, is “lost in a bug-infested jungle” and hopes that following the ants will lead him to safety. Sure enough, the ants do lead him to care and sustenance at the picnic blanket in his own backyard, where he has been roaming all along. Besides enjoying this roguish adventure, children should pick up a fair amount of insect knowledge (e.g., “I noticed that the ants talked to one another by touching antennae on top of their heads”), especially from the five pages of bug trivia that follow the story. 

Publishers Weekly