I seldom use the words “science” and “scamp” in the same sentence, nor do I normally look for science books for scamps*. However, I paused at the bookstore at a recent SCBWI conference and there it was – How Rude: 10 Real Bugs Who Won’t Mind Their Manners by Heather Montgomery.
Heather’s teaser on the first page says, “Some bugs litter. Some pass gas. Others throw poop.” The next page pictures her ten bugs posing on their platforms in “The Battle for the Grossest.” A double spread for each follows, touting their claims for the position. Every spread begins with a disgusting tidbit to intrigue young scamps and finishes with a scientific explanation of their rudeness in the same kid-friendly manner.
NPR reported a comparison of children’s and adults’ preferences in fact versus fiction in a paper published earlier this year by psychologists Jennifer Barnes, Emily Bernstein, and Paul Bloom showing that children had a preference for fact. Certainly that will be true for a book like this.
In the end, Heather doesn’t tell who wins the contest by being crowned the grossest. Instead, she gives the young scamps who read the book – or have it read to them – a place where they can vote on her website.
I couldn’t pass this up. I bought the book and got Heather to sign it. You see I have a great nephew who qualifies as a scamp coming for Thanksgiving dinner.
*Scamp – a loveable kid with just enough mischief to be fun