Virtual Children's Books Exhibits


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Almost Human

Creepy Crawlies






10.  Edward Bawden, author/illustrator.
Hold Fast by Your Teeth.
London: Routledge & Kegan Paul Ltd., 1963.

The young dung beetle Amos Shufflebottom is reading all about Coleoptera, or scarab beetles, the genus to which he belongs. He becomes so obsessed with his lineage that he has a coat of arms painted on his back and aspires to the hand (or rather wing) of the beautiful butterfly Annabel Lee. When he proclaims his love to her on a rose bush, she makes it clear she'll have nothing to do with anyone who smells the way he does.

Broken-hearted little Amos falls from the branch into the fresh cowpat his father is hauling away in nice, neat balls. Like so many characters in children's fiction who aspire to be something other than they are, Amos learns that his place is with his own kind and eventually marries one of his cousins. If you suspect that the author's tongue was in his cheek, you may be on to something. (Image Credits)