The Slug by E. Gravel
Gravel,Elise. The Slug. New York: Tundra Books, 2014. Print.
One of the many titles in Gravel’s series, Disgusting Critters, this charmingly-illustrated volume contains a multitude of facts about slugs. Considered to be one of the garden’s more unappealing creatures, the slug is an uncommon subject in the world of bug and insect books, hence making this read all the more interesting.
Many kids love books about interesting creatures, and the slug is one of the more slimy creatures living in backyards. Many of the physical features of the slug are described in this book: mucous, multiple tentacles, their breathing holes located on the sides of their faces, and soft, squishy bodies that ooze along. The cheerful land slug appears on every page, and happily teaches readers all about the basic body parts of a slug, and their important role in the garden as a transformer of waste plant matter into usable nutrients. Their reproductive process is described in child-friendly language. The most enjoyable pages discuss the many ways slugs use mucous: as a transportation aid, an escape mechanism, and as an aid to attract mates.
Readers will find the humorous cartoons to be a refreshing alternative to the photographs commonly found in non-fiction books. These pictures, paired with simple facts, make this book suitable for early readers, and could ease the transition into non-fiction for children who are reluctant to explore the genre. It is also recommended for readers who are ready to start exploring simple chapter books. The Slug would be a welcome addition to both public and school library collections.
Recommended: 3 out of 4 stars
Reviewer: Carlene Slobodian
Carlene Slobodian is an MLIS candidate at the University of Alberta with a lifelong passion for children’s literature. When not devouring books, she can be found knitting, cooking, or discovering new kinds of tea to sample.
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