Darkus can't believe his eyes when a huge insect drops out of the trouser leg of his horrible new neighbour. It's a giant beetle - and it seems to want to communicate.
But how can a boy be friends with a beetle? And what does a beetle have to do with the disappearance of his dad and the arrival of Lucretia Cutter, with her taste for creepy jewellery?
My son who is 6 years old has been bugging me for a chapter book to read as his sister has heaps. We were looking at the review items on KIWIreviews and he spotted beetle boy and really wanted to read it so we asked to review it and it turned up for him. When I first saw the book I thought I was a really big book for a 6 year old and I don't think he will be able to read it or understand the book at all. The cover page really does appeal to young boys with a boys face and a beetle on his head really screams come and read me. I do like the nice touch on the edge of the book when its closed of a whole lot of beetles and my son pointed that out that he liked that too, he said "its a boys book mum".
The words are a good size for a young child to read and not a lot of pictures which I honestly thought would be a problem since he really does rely on pictures still when reading but when I asked him he was happy with not many pictures. He was really committed to reading this book and every night at bedtime he was reading it for 30mins. I was surprised that he was on chapter 3 within a few days, each chapter seems to be about 8 pages long 16 pages if you count both sides. I'm still not fully convinced he really understood the whole book though and he wouldn't let me read it with him which I understand he wanted to feel like a big boy.
This is what he says about the book
"Beetle boy went into school and popped his hand in the middle with his friends hand on top of his hand in the middle on the teachers hand and the beetle came. The boy and the beetle were friends. Thats all I remember"
This is what makes me a little nervous to get him another book this big as I don't feel he is really ready for this length of a book, he seemed to remember little bits and a mixture but whenever I ask him about the book I always got the same thing and nothing different. I will hold onto the book until he is older for him to give it another go. Other than that I think its a good read for a child 8 years up. But in saying that he really enjoyed it while he was reading it, so not all lost even if he doesnt remember what he read afterwards, it was a good first step to see where he is in his reading for chapter books.
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"I like to pick up hitchhikers. When they get in the car I say, "Put on your seat belt. I want to try something. I saw it once in a cartoon, but I think I can do it."