Book Review of Eat Bugs: Project Startup
The Children’s Book Review
Written by Heather Alexander with Laura D’Asaro and Rose Wang
Illustrated by Vanessa Flores
Ages 8-12 | 220 Pages
Publisher: Penguin Workshop | ISBN-13: 9780593096178
What to expect: Friendship and Entrepreneurship
Who doesn’t love a good, crunchy chip?
How about a good, crunchy, cricket chip?
That’s right – crickets. As in the jumpy critters that sometimes infest gardens and chirp in the evening. EAT BUGS: PROJECT STARTUP is a novelization of the real-life inventors of CHIRPSTM Chips, and it’s a jumping good time!
In this book, we meet Hallie. She’s unique and artsy, just like her family, and never misses a chance to pave her own path, even if that means she doesn’t have a lot of friends. She misses her old best friend who moved far away and hasn’t quite managed to mesh with other kids at school. In short, she’s a little lonely.
When her class takes a field trip to the Zoo and she finds herself in the Bug House, she’s not expecting it to change her life. But when the zoo’s entomologist begins to explain the nuances of bugs, things in Hallie’s mind start to click. When he playfully asks if anyone wants to eat a cricket, Hallie’s hand shoots up. And with that single ensuing bite, Hallie becomes a bit notorious with her classmates, who are all totally grossed out.
But Hallie doesn’t stop there. Bugs are fascinating, Hallie realizes, diving down the rabbit hole—or rather, cricket hole. And when her Entrepreneurship class assigns the students to come up with their very own business, Hallie is absolutely certain that cricket-based food is the way to go.
Then, there’s Jaye. She’s there at the zoo too, watching Hallie gulp down a cricket, like it was a delicious cookie. She thinks Hallie is kind of bizarre but is dealing with enough of her own friendship drama to really delve deep into the Hows and Whys of Hallie and her bug-eating. But when she is assigned to partner with Hallie in her Entrepreneurship class, she is less than pleased. And – yikes! – Hallie is insisting on starting a bug-based food business!
Together, the girls face obstacles with their project ideas, their classmates, and each other. Eventually, Hallie and Jaye come together to create a cricket-based snack. They realize they are more than just class-assigned partners; they are friends.
EAT BUGS: PROJECT STARTUP is a story about an idea, and even more so, a story about true friendship. Both girls are missing something in their lives, and with the dual perspectives of the book, readers can share each girl’s point of view and her struggles. Hallie and Jaye come from very different backgrounds, but both want to belong and be accepted for who they really are. The girls argue and disagree, but in the end, their grit and perseverance, plus their willingness to compromise, lead them to friendship and an outstanding business idea!
Readers will identify with the characters, who are dealing not only with real business quandaries but with very relatable friendship drama. With light-hearted humor and snappy dialog, the story clips along and engages readers until the delightfully crunchy happy ending.
Full of lessons about believing in yourself and your ideas, EAT BUGS, PROJECT STARTUP is a wonderful beginning to an exciting series of illustrated novels.
To get the full experience of EAG BUGS, try the CHIRPS™️ Chips along with it! Our family really enjoyed the cheddar flavor chips. They were nutty, crunchy, and very satisfying. Plus, we were impressed with the amount of protein-packed into the snack. It feels like you’re eating any other multi-grain chip, but with the added bonus of knowing you are enjoying a nutritious snack that isn’t terrible for the planet. Your young reader can learn all about crickets and their amazing attributes in the book, and they’ll be sure to tell all their friends (and relatives, neighbors) how much you enjoyed the buggy chips!
Combined with reading the book, the chips help readers fully realize the story and the implications of trying hard to start your own business – an idea can become something so real, they can taste it! Down to every last crunchy, crickety bite.
Highly recommended for class reading and adventurous kids.
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About Heather Alexander
Heather Alexander is the author of numerous books for children, both fiction and nonfiction. Her fiction series include Wallace and Grace Take the Case and The Amazing Stardust Friends, and her nonfiction series include Life of Earth and A Child’s Introduction to . . . The former editorial director of Parachute Press, Heather has edited over 100 children’s fiction series, including the best-selling Goosebumps. She currently works as a children’s book editor and lives in Los Angeles.
Learn more about Heather at her website: heatheralexanderbooks.com.
About Laura D’Asaro and Rose Wang
Laura D’Asaro and Rose Wang are the co-founders of Chirps, one of the first companies to make food with cricket protein. Both are Shark Tank winners, Forbes 30 under 30 social entrepreneurs, ELLE USA Impact Award winners, Echoing Green fellows, MassChallenge Gold Winners, and Harvard Dean’s Design Challenge winners. In addition, Rose is a TEDx speaker, and Laura holds multiple world records, including the record for the world’s largest nachos (yes, it was made with cricket chips). They also sit on the board of an education nonprofit, Wema Inc., in Kenya. Laura and Rose were college roommates at Harvard, and now both live in San Francisco, California.