Stephen and the Beetle

By Jorge Luján • Illustrated by Chiara Carrer
Groundwood Books • 2012 • 32 pages
Hardcover ($18.95)
ISBN: 9781554981922
Ages 2-5

One fine day, Stephen goes out to the yard and discovers a beetle strolling around. He takes off his shoe, and holding it, lifts his arm into the air intending to squash the insect. But suddenly, Stephen wonders where the beetle may be going, and decides to follow it instead.

Stephen lowers his body to face the horned beetle and imagines it as a Triceratops dinosaur from the Cretaceous era. And then, the beetle turns away and simply heads off to another portion of the garden.

This simple book teaches children about making moral choices when they encounter creatures in their native habitat—by choosing not to squash the little bug, Stephen was able to enjoy a wonderful fantasy involving creatures from thousands of years ago.

Read Related: Spike the Mixed-up Monster

A famous author, poet and musician, Jorge Luján has written many exceptional children’s books. He likes to work with illustrators from around the world to create unique images for his simple poems and stories. Italian artist Chiara Carrer has illustrated more than one hundred children’s books. Her illustrations for this book are a mixture of different media, from collage, watercolor, pen and ink, to soft washes.

Reviewed by Dr. Veronica Covington, School of Information, University of Texas, Austin