B Be Beetles


by S. Michele Chen, illustration: Leda Chung


8-year-old Hong is visiting her grandma in Taiwan for the first time.
It’s not easy for the Californian girl to adjust to the weather, the customs and
most of all the bugs. Hong can’t sleep after seeing a black beetle crawling on
the wall in her room. She tries to track down the critter and discovers a huge
colorful beetle in the bathroom. The beetle is so big, it fills the tub.
But unexpectedly Hong isn’t afraid of Superbeetle, she likes it!
Superbeetle takes Hong on a journey down the drain where she meets
the other members of Superbeetle’s family and learns about the rare rainbow
click beetle which is on verge of distinction in Taiwan.
The discovery changes Hong’s life and saves grandma’s market from destruction.

This chapter book aimed at early readers takes the readers into a magical yet
real world of American-Chinese little girl. It teaches about people, culture,
language, foods and even popular TV shows in Taiwan, and it does so without
being preachy.
I loved the way Hong expresses her thoughts using different colored post-it,
and I loved grandma’s suggestion to use the dumpling’s pancakes
when Hong ran out of post-its. It was heart warming to read about
Hong and grandma relationship takes form, it’s very subtle.
The black and white illustrations are nice and enrich the story
while giving the young reader some relief from the plot.
Highly recommended for kids ages 6-8.