What’s the Attraction, Insects?

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What’s the Attraction, Insects?
Author: Tomoko Ohmura (Tomoko Ōmura)
Specifications: ISBN  978-4591154724
36 pages
23.0 x 23.0 cm / 9.2 x 9.2 in (WxH)
Category: Children & YA
Ages: 3+
Publisher: Poplar Publishing Co., Ltd.
Tokyo, 2017
Buy now: amazon.co.jp


This is the fourth in a popular series of picture books that began with Nan no gyōretsu? (tr. The Long, Long Line), in which 50 animals line up from large to small without really knowing what the queue is for. The book has been translated into many languages and won awards overseas. Other titles in the series include Nan no jūtai? (What’s the Hold-Up?), in which a boy on his bicycle sees a traffic backup that includes all manner of cars, trucks, and other conveyances, and Kon’ya wa nan no gyōretsu? (What're We Lining Up for Tonight?), which depicts a long line of amusing ghosts and other supernatural creatures.

“Dear Insects,” says a placard at the start of the story. “If you’d like a special treat, come on up!” Drawn by this mysterious invitation and led along by a bee that buzzes busily about, fifty insects in all—a mosquito, an ant, a ladybug, a pill bug and so forth, all the way to a beautiful blue butterfly—have gathered ’round to join the climbing queue. Each turn of the page brings more of the bugs that young children love to play with in a seemingly endless parade. Along the way are potential disruptors and obstructions—a cat and a bird attracted by the moving bugs, some spider webs that catch at insects’ feet, a rain shower that makes things slippery. When the insects reach the top of the table and pull on a cloth, a huge slice of watermelon emerges from underneath—which they dig into with gusto, carving it right down to the rind. It turns out that the placard and watermelon were placed there by a boy in order to attract all his favorite bugs.

Little children are fascinated by bugs, and this book presents a lively parade of them. Every insect that appears is numbered and named, so it is a chance for young readers to learn what each is called as well as to have fun counting.