Gregory Sampson wakes up one morning and finds that he's become a giant bug! A purple-brown beetle, to be exact. But no one notices the metamorphosis-not Gregory's parents, not his little sister, not his teachers, not even the kids at school. Only his best friend, Michael, sees the change. And Michael wants his friend back just as much as Gregory wants to be his old self again. But why did he go from boy to bug? And why don't people seem to care? As Gregory searches for answers-and a way to recover his identity-a poignant story unfolds about the need for love and recognition.
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When second grader Gregory Sampson wakes up one morning to discover that he has become a giant beetle, his ensuing day is distinctly Kafka-esque, yet in a totally childlike way. For one blighted day, young hard-shelled Gregory faces an extreme version of the common outrage of the 6- to 8-year-old whose parents have ceased watching and admiring his every toddling move: No one notices him one bit. Not when his slippery beetle self falls down the stairs and he lies there wriggling all six legs in the air. Not when he waves a claw through the air at the breakfast table. Not even when he bellows across the kitchen, "Look at me. I'm a giant beetle."
Lawrence David's deft and buoyant comprehension of family life enables him to relate this tale of childhood invisibility with both pathos and humor. To Gregory's pronouncement, the father replies: "And I'm a hippo." "You've always been our little bug-a-boo," says the mom, her eyes on the morning headlines. His sister merely takes his bacon, murmuring, "Do bugs like bacon?" Gregory's changes get noticed, finally, by his best friend Michael.
Despite the frustrating oblivion of his family, the beetle boy's adaptive abilities keep the story brave and easygoing. Even when Gregory's at the height of his confusion, we see him cutting extra armholes in his shirt for his two new arms ("Or were they legs?"), whopping a soccer ball with his antenna to make a score, and generously offering to use his extra arms to carry his clueless sister's backpack. In equal measure, Delphine Durand's busy, vivacious illustrations convey that no matter the depth of a problem, life itself doesn't lose all its color.
In this wonderfully told story, the parents don't remain distracted forever, and the child--forgiving of their trespasses--accepts, and is healed by, their tardy recognition of the huge changes they didn't see. It's a moving, beautifully rendered moment--and most certainly powerful enough to turn a six-legged bug back into a little boy. (Ages 6 and older) --Jean LenihanFrom the Back Cover:
Praise for Lawrence David's The Good Little Girl:
"David...effectively depicts how disappointment upsets even the best-natured child....Readers who distinguish between righteous anger and spoiled-rottenness will understand Miranda's angst and learn a few things about diplomacy."
"Lucretia will appeal to every child who has ever succumbed to vague parental procrastinations, and Oubrerie's illustrations are just what the story ordered: bug-eyed, elemental, and more than a tad crazy."
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Book Description Dragonfly Books, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0440414423
Book Description Dragonfly Books, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110440414423