Texas Bluebonnet Award 2014-2015

Resources for the TBA Nominees

Face Bug

FaceBug_ Lewis_JPatrick

Face Bug by J. Patrick Lewis

Scroll down to find Related Activities & Resources, Book Talk Teasers, Read Alikes, and Book Reviews.

Readers Theater Script – Face Bug (PDF)


Background Information

Information about the author, J. Patrick Lewis:

Author’s website:

Article on J. Patrick Lewis from NCTE from their Language Arts Journal: http://www.ncte.org/library/nctefiles/about/awards/lewis.pdf

Print interview with J. Patrick Lewis:

Print interview with J. Patrick Lewis:

Print interview with J. Patrick Lewis:

Pinterest page for J. Patrick Lewis:

Information about illustrator Kelly Murphy and photographer Frederic B. Siskind:

Homepage of illustrator Kelly Murphy:

Brief biography of illustrator Kelly Murphy from the Rhode Island School of Design: http://www.risd.edu/Illustration/Kelly_Murphy/

Kelly Murphy answers questions for “Cricket” magazine:

Nature images by photographer Frederic B. Siskind:

Related Activities

More about J. Patrick Lewis and his work through videos, etc.:

Trailers for promoting the poetry of J. Patrick Lewis (Scroll down):

Video: Hear J. Patrick Lewis read his poem, “Make the Earth Your Companion”’ (1:54): http://video.nationalgeographic.com/video/kids/movies-books-kids/animal-poetry-kids/

Video interview with J. Patrick Lewis (2:18) and bio:

Video: Full performance of J. Patrick Lewis in front of an audience of children (44:18):

Teaching about poetry:

Lesson plan for writing butterfly poetry (could be adapted for use with various grade levels to write about other insects):

Lesson plans for writing a different kind of poem each day:

10 ways to use poetry in your classroom:

Lesson plan introducing poetry to students in groups (Insect poems could be your theme): http://lessonplanspage.com/languageartspoetrycoop-htm/

Lesson to help students perceive rhythm in poetry:

Bug activities for kids:

Insects with super powers (good “starters” for writing about bugs):

Different kinds of insect activities–crafts, printables, recipes and more:

Pinterest page for bug and insect activities:

50 insect activities for kids:

Bug activities and resources from Scholastic:

All sorts of bug activities by grade level:

More bug crafts (perhaps the most unusual might be making a “bug house”): http://www.daniellesplace.com/html/bugs.html

Bug Fun! includes having classroom bug mascots and a craft making a compound eye (See sidebar on left for more): http://www.uky.edu/Ag/Entomology/ythfacts/bugfun/bugfun.htm

Bug Camp–lesson plans and more. (Click on link below, then type in “Bug Camp” and click on “Bug Camp” link at top of list):

Bug me! Classroom activities for teaching about bugs:

Bugs and insects: activities by grade level:

Insect theme activities and lesson plans by grade level:

Insect quizzes, online insect activities, short videos of 17 bugs in action, and more:

Orkin’s web pages for kids and teachers (see tabs at top: “Kids and Teachers,” “Lesson Plans,” “Kids and Games,” and “Schedule the Orkin Man”):

Scroll down near bottom for classroom activities by subject:

‘Icky, Icky Insects” song video (3:55):


Read inside front flap of book.

Read the first poem in the book: “Grand Opening: The Face Bug Museum.”

Introduce this book with the Readers Theater for “Grand Opening: The Face Bug Museum,” allowing students chosen to perform the “Voices” in the poem to practice before presenting. (See Readers Theater scripts for Face Bug on this website.)


Other books by J. Patrick Lewis (Author appeal):

Link to author J. Patrick Lewis’ website which lists other books he has written: http://www.jpatricklewis.com/books.shtml

Other books illustrated by Kelly Murphy (illustration appeal):

Link to illustrator Kelly Murphy’s website which lists other books she has illustrated: http://www.kelmurphy.com/books.html

Other books of poetry about insects and bugs (Subject and genre appeal):

Fleischman, Paul. Joyful noise: poems for two voices (Newbery Medal winner). A collection of poems describing the characteristics and activities of a variety of insects. (NoveList)

Florian, Douglas. Insectlopedia: poems and paintings. Presents twenty-one short poems about such insects as the inchworm, termite, cricket, and ladybug. (NoveList)

Hewitt, Sally. Bugs pop-up: creepy crawlers face to face.  Bold illustrations and accompanying rhyming text will intrigue budding naturalists as giant scorpions, a praying mantis, and other fascinating creatures pop off the pages of this introduction to bugs. (NoveList)

Yolen, Jane. Bug off!: creepy, crawly poems. Features poems about various insect and arachnid species and includes facts about each. (WorldCat.org)

Fiction books about bugs (Subject appeal through a different genre):

Biedrzycki, David. Ace Lacewing, Bug Detective (#1 in series of same name). Aided by his friends, Ace Lacewing, Bug Detective, sets out on the trail of kidnappers who took Queenie Bee. (NoveList)

Broach, Elise. Masterpiece. After Marvin, a beetle, makes a miniature drawing as an eleventh birthday gift for James, a human with whom he shares a house, the two new friends work together to help recover a Durer drawing stolen from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. (NoveList)

Cronin, Doreen. Diary of a spider. A young spider discovers, day by day, that there is a lot to learn about being a spider, including how to spin webs and avoid vacuum cleaners. (NoveList)

Cronin, Doreen. Diary of a worm. A young worm discovers, day by day, that there are some very good and some not so good things about being a worm in this great big world. (NoveList)

Dahl, Roald. James and the giant peach. A young boy escapes from two wicked aunts and embarks on a series of adventures with six giant insects he meets inside a giant peach. (NoveList)

Reynolds, Aaron. Creepy crawly crime (#1 in Joey Fly, private eye series). Have you ever had one of those moments? You know–you’re trying to find a stolen diamond pencil box for your beautiful butterfly customer, your mosquito witness won’t give you any information, and your clumsy scorpion assistant has just tampered with your only bit of evidence? Joey Fly has those moments a lot. (NoveList)

Selden, George. The cricket in Times Square (#1 in Chester Cricket series). A country cricket falls into a picnic basket and ends up in New York City. (NoveList)

Turner, Ann. Grasshopper summer. In 1874 eleven-year-old Sam and his family move from Kentucky to the southern Dakota Territory, where harsh conditions and a plague of hungry grasshoppers threaten their chances for survival. (NoveList)

White, E. B. Charlotte’s web. The story of Wilbur, the pig, smallest of the litter, who is raised by the farmer’s daughter, and who finds a friend in Charlotte, the spider. (NoveList)

Yep, Laurence. Cockroach cooties (#2 in Teddy series). Teddy and his little brother Bobby devise strategies using bugs to defeat the school bully. (NoveList)

Nonfiction books about bugs and insects (Subject appeal through a different genre):

Aloian, Molly. Insect bodies. A brief introduction to the anatomy of insects. (WorldCat.org)

Anderson, Margaret J. Bizarre insects. The author looks at butterflies, deadly killer bees, cannibalistic ants, and walkingsticks, and reveals that “insects are some of the most bizarre and amazing animals on earth.” (from the book cover)

Greenaway, Theresa. Big book of bugs. Text and detailed photographs offer facts about a wide variety of insects, including beetles, wasps, and stick and leaf insects. (WorldCat.org)

Johnson, Jinny. Simon & Schuster the children’s guide to insects and spiders. Provides an introduction to more than 100 insects and arachnids, giving general information about family characteristics and habits, and more specific facts about some species. (WorldCat.org)

Kneidel, Sally. Pet bugs: a kid’s guide to catching and keeping touchable insects. A guide for kids that tells them about how to catch and then keep touchable insects. (WorldCat.org)

Kneidel, Sally. More pet bugs: a kid’s guide to catching and keeping insects and other small creatures. Provides information about the physical characteristics, habitats, and behavior of various insects and tells how to catch and keep them for observation. (WorldCat.org)

Mound, Laurence. Insect  (Eyewitness series). Discover the busy and intriguing world of insects–their structure, life history, and fascinating variety. (WorldCat.org)

White, Nancy. Scholastic’s the Magic School Bus explores the world of bugs. Ms. Frizzle and her students get on the Magic School Bus and learn about the world of insects, including bees, butterflies, spiders, fireflies, beetles, grasshoppers, crickets, mosquitoes and dragonflies. (NoveList)

Winner, Cherie. Everything bug: what kids really want to know about insects and spiders. Presents twenty-five questions and answers about insects and spiders, including why bugs are important, how long they’ve existed, and whether spiders make noise. (WorldCat.org)


Booklist: Face Bug. By J. Patrick Lewis. Illus. by Kelly Murphy. 2013. 48p. Boyds Mills/Wordsong, $16.95 (9781590789254). 811. Gr. 2–4. (Booklist Online, May 20, 2013). Welcome to the grand opening of the Face Bug Museum, an event that unfolds in light verse and illustrations. After creeping or flying toward the entrance, small critters observe the live bugs on display and play with interactive exhibits. The 14 featured bugs display their special characteristics and behaviors in excellent large (and greatly enlarged) color mug-shot photos and in larger black-and-white pictures that also show the visitors enjoying the interactive exhibits. The rhyming poems, which are varied in form and tinged with humor, often incorporate information about the bugs. Written by the current U.S. Children’s Poet Laureate, the verse is uneven, though it is often clever. The lively ink-and-graphite drawings add another dimension to the book. An appended section reprises the color photos in miniature, along with paragraphs of information in which the animals describe themselves in droll first-person narratives. Combining many worthwhile elements but without creating a satisfying whole, the book is recommended mainly for larger poetry collections. —Carolyn Phelan Horn Book: Lewis, J. Patrick Face Bug 40 pp. Boyds/Wordsong 2013. ISBN 978-1-59078-925-4 (3) K-3 Illustrated by Kelly Murphy. Each double-page spread “exhibit” in The Face Bug Museum consists of a poem, a cartoonish but detailed line drawing, and an extreme close-up photo of the subject. Varied forms keep the poems about insects’ and other creepy-crawlies’ adaptations surprising. A “word from our bugs” expounding further on each species concludes this visually compelling interdisciplinary field guide to tiny creatures. (Fall 2013 Guide) Reprinted from The Horn Book Guide by permission of The Horn Book, Inc., www.hbook.com School Library Journal: Lewis, J. Patrick. Face Bug K-Gr 5—Visitors to this book get close-up, photographic views of 15 amazing creatures, including the Hickory Horned Devil and the Nursery Web Spider, whose eyes are impossible to avoid counting. “Eight black eyes in a whiskery face,/Eight round eyes in a dark crawl space/That never bother blinking back/Could give a kid a heart attack!” The endnotes, “written” in first person by the various bugs, describe “Where I Live,” “How I Grow,” “What I Eat,” and “What Eats Me” with scientific accuracy and humor. Budding bug fans will love this title. The poems are funny and based on actual bug behavior and attributes, the photographic portraits of the faces and eyes are marvelous, and the ink and graphite drawings guide readers through the museum collection. Murphy’s anthropomorphized creatures visit the “Nectar Café” and try on different pairs of glasses to sample being bug-eyed, compound-eyed, eight-eyed. The interactive science museum has gizmos such as cicada sound buttons and a camouflaged Goldenrod Stowaway Moth hidden in a cluster of flowers. Readers will not see bugs again in the same way: “You may think you’ve seen our Show Bugs in the trees or in the sky,/But you never really know bugs till you look them in the eye.” There will be many returns to the Face Bug Museum as this book has so much to offer. Wonderfully conceived and executed.—Teresa Pfeifer, The Springfield Renaissance School, Springfield, MA


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