Review: Bug Boys by Laura Knetzger

Title: Bug Boys
Author: Laura Knetzger
Release Date: February 11, 2020
Publisher: Random House Graphic
Pages: 272

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Join two bug friends as they learn about the science of the world around them and the meaning of friendship in this early graphic novel series perfect for fans of Narwhal and Jelly!

Rhino-B is a brash, but sweet guy. Stag-B is a calm and scholarly adventurer. Together these two young beetles make up the Bug Boys, best friends who spend their time exploring the world of Bug Village and beyond, as well as their own – sometimes confusing and complicated – thoughts and feelings.

In their first adventure, the Bug Boys travel through spooky caves, work with a spider to found a library, save their town’s popular honey supply from extinction, and even make friends with ferocious termites!

What challenges will these two earnest beetles face? Whatever it is, you can be sure that Rhino-B and Stag-B will face it together — with the power of friendship behind them.

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At first glance, Bug Boys seems like nothing more than the adventures that two best friends find themselves going on – but it’s so much more. Laura Knetzger did an incredible job of capturing the fears and uncertainties that kids feel and having Stag-B and Rhino-B work through them.

The first thing I thought of when I saw Bug Boys was how much the art style reminded me of Adventure Time. After finishing the graphic novel and reading Knetzger’s bio, I discovered that she was a storyboard artist for the show! Her art brought a lot of that same life into the story and that’s something that helped make it special.

‘If you don’t care, then why are you crying?’
‘I’m not crying ’cause I’m sad! I’m just ALLERGIC! To these feelings.’

One thing I didn’t completely love was the writing. It often felt disjointed. I never considered putting the book down and not finishing it, and I would definitely consider reading future volumes, but it did bother me.

Overall, this is a very strong graphic novel for Random House Graphics to include in their debut list. It was hard not to fall in love with Stag-B and Rhino-B – the two really are the best of friends for all the right reasons. Kids will see themselves reflected in these two characters but so will adults. And it’s almost as if a little bit of Adventure Time continues to live on.

A physical ARC was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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