Title: Bomby the Bombardier Beetle
Author: Hazel May Rue
Major Themes: Insects, Beetles, Creation, Animal Stories
Synopsis: Bomby has a lot to learn so he can grow up to be an old, wise Bombardier beetle—but can he keep his mouth shut long enough to be taught what he needs to know?
I’ve been interested in Bombardier beetles since I was probably five or so, when Dad showed my brothers and me a picture of one spraying an enemy and explained what wonderful little bugs they are. Not too long ago, while sorting through books at a book sale, Mom came across Bomby the Bombardier Beetle and immediately snatched it up. She’s been wanting to read it for close to thirty years now, so it was fun to see her wish finally fulfilled.
Bomby is a very young bombardier beetle. He has much to learn, but thankfully he has a wise father who is willing to teach him how to survive and thrive in the big dangerous world. There are the Tiger beetles he and his friends must watch out for, and many things about the past that Bomby needs to learn in order to be a good Bombardier beetle. Can he hold his tongue long enough to be taught what he needs to know?
This is a very fun story, one that both old and young would enjoy reading. Bomby’s struggles—while, perhaps, slightly on the fantastical side seeing as he’s a beetle—are very real, something that most children will be able to identify with. Bomby the Bombardier Beetle would be great for a study of beetles, as an addition to a science curriculum, or simply as a read-aloud.
One thing I really appreciate about this book is that it supports the Creation worldview. Some may not agree with this element, but I found that it was very well done. Overall, Bomby the Bombardier Beetle is a real keeper.
I remember seeing Bomby the Bombardier Beetle in a catalog when I was young. I was very intrigued by the idea of the book, but never had a chance to read it until I found it a couple of years ago in a book fair, halfway around the world from where I was raised! Last week I read it aloud to my children as part of our morning homeschool time. The younger ones, especially, seemed to enjoy it!
Bomby is a young Bombardier Beetle. His father is teaching him everything he needs to know to be safe. He wants to be a wise Beetle, so he listens carefully. When his father teaches him how to shoot his cannons, he pays close attention, and soon he knows how to take care of himself. When the next Tiger Beetle comes along, he will know what to do with it!
One day, Bomby’s father takes him to visit his Great, Great, Great, ever-so-many Greats Grandfather, to hear the story about how Bombardier Beetles came to be. They hear the Creation story, and Father listens very carefully, as well as Bomby, because he wants to be able to relate the story accurately to following generations.
We found Bomby the Bombardier Beetle a fun way to learn about these fascinating creatures. All of us, I believe, would like to see one—though maybe not be on the receiving end of its blast of boiling gases! I liked the way the Creation story was worked in, as well.
Listening Level—Ages 5 – 8, 8 – 12
Reading Independently—Ages 8 – 12