Bug Boys 2 : Outside and Beyond
by Knetzger, Laura

A follow-up to Bug Boys finds courageous and mindful Rhino-B and Stag-B seizing an opportunity to learn something exciting about Bug Village before encountering unexpected friendship and adventure. Simultaneous eBook. Illustrations.

Laura Knetzger graduated from the School of Visual Arts in 2012. She has worked as a storyboard artist for Adventure Time. She lives in Seattle and makes comics about feelings. You can find her online at @LauraKnetzger.

*Starred Review* This follow-up to 2020's charming Bug Boys holds largely to the same formula-episodic adventures starring tweenesque beetle besties Rhino-B and Stag-B-and it's this first return that highlights the series' greatest gift: comfort. Each stand-alone chapter opens with the same promise, that wherever the boys are headed, whatever discoveries await, they will be exploring something new, be it an unknown region of their anthropomorphic-bug world or an unfamiliar emotion that they-and, likely, young readers-are contending with. They will face it together, innocent smiles etched into their simple yet expressive beetle features, and most importantly, they will return home, safely changed. In "The Ultimate S'mores," the boys ponder their respective growth, together and apart; "Little Bugs in the Big City" has the duo contrasting their quaint Bug Village with the metropolitan Centipede City; and when they're introduced to bats in "Wave's World," they learn to appreciate life from a new perspective. Knetzger's art, helped by Lynde's colors, makes every setting inviting, every character friendly-if you look closely enough-and the result is the coziest kind of book-magic. As Rhino-B reflects: "I like the endings where everyone goes home . . . and things don't change too fast. And everybody gets just enough of their happy ending . . ." Readers will be glad to be back and sorry to say goodbye-until next time. Grades 2-4. Copyright 2021 Booklist Reviews.

Bug BFFs marvel over natural wonders in their bucolic microcosm. In this graphic-novel sequel to Bug Boys (2020), beetle best friends Stag-B and Rhino-B have more quiet adventures told in tiny vignettes. The duo ventures out of their quiet home, Bug Village, seeing new surroundings with wide-eyed awe and contemplating their roles within these settings. In "The Ultimate Sā??mores," the pair go on a camping trip, and Stag-B feels inferior when compared to Rhino-Bā??s outdoorsy know-how until they decide to talk about their feelings, which helps Stag-B realize his own valuable strengths. In "The Pearl Dragonā??s Castle," the bugs explore a mysterious tower that seems to change uncannily with every step they take. They encounter a strange lavender dragon who claims to need help, leading them on a journey from frustration to collaboration. In the final tale, "Waveā??s World," they help a bat find a lost magical earring; riding on its back and gazing at their village from aloft, they admire the beauty of the night. Knetzgerā??s tiny tales are rambling and often surreal, thoughtfully examining both the beautiful complexity of nature and oneā??s place therein. With a muted, earth-toned palette, her illustrations firmly anchor readers in this intricately whimsical world. Perhaps not a splashy crowd pleaser, this sophomore effort may fare best when put in the hands of those seeking that which is both philosophical and introspective. A dreamlike and existential rumination. (Graphic fantasy. 9-12) Copyright Kirkus 2020 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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