STEM Friday #Kidlit Bugs Don’t Hug

This month we are exploring some of the fantastic nonfiction children’s books that have been nominated for 2018 Cybils awards.

Today we’re going to read and giggle about the picture book Bugs Don’t Hug: Six-Legged Parents and Their Kids by Heather L. Montgomery and illustrated by Stephen Stone.

The premise of this fun book is to compare what people do with what bugs do. Surprisingly, although bugs really don’t hug, there are many, many similarities. For example, the author says mommy bugs don’t make scrambled eggs for their kids for breakfast, but female crickets do feed their babies special nutritious insect eggs they lay themselves. After many similar comparisons, in the end we conclude that bugs take care of their “babies” in many special ways, too.

The text isn’t for the faint of heart, but is for the young at heart. You’ll find references to dirty diapers, poop, spit, and mouse meat. Plenty of the gross factor that kids of a certain age find so appealing.

Stephen Stone’s Photoshop-generated illustrations wobble between relatively realistic and wildly humorous cartoons, depending on the tone of the text. For example, the “baby” bugs playing peekaboo are cartoons, those hiding under the mother tortoise beetle are closer to real life.

The back matter is great. Besides more serious information about each of the featured insect species such as as their scientific names and where they are found, you’ll find “More to Read” suggestions, and an “Author’s Note” about the playful terminology she used and how it compares to scientific terms. For example, a baby in the book is actually refers to a larva or nymph.

Montgomery also writes “A Note to Parents” that should be required reading for all parents and grandparents:

“Children are fascinated by little creatures. Your reaction to that fascination will affect your child for life…”


Bugs Don’t Hug belongs both in the science classroom and at home as a book to share at bedtime. It is perfect for budding entomologists and entomophobes alike. Pick up a copy today!


Check the publisher’s website under the “Downloadables” tab (on the “Look Inside the Book” box -middle of page) for a teacher’s guide to download. It has activity suggestions.

At our sister blog Growing with Science we have many insect-themed STEM activities. Start at the Insect Science Investigations post. We also feature a little story about an insect every week for “Bug of the Week.”

Age Range: 3 – 7 years
Publisher: Charlesbridge (September 18, 2018)
ISBN-10: 9781580898164
ISBN-13: 978-1580898164
ASIN: 1580898165

A “baby” queen butterfly


Disclosure: This book was provided by our local library. Also, I am an affiliate with Amazon so I can provide you with cover images and links to more information about books and products. As you probably are aware, if you click through the highlighted title link and purchase a product, I will receive a very small commission, at no extra cost to you. Any proceeds help defray the costs of hosting and maintaining this website.

Come visit the STEM Friday blog each week to find more great Science, Technology, Engineering and Math books.Opens in a new window Note: this is a new link as of 10/2018.

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