Bug, the little yellow Volkswagen, is not only years younger than I (and presumably less experienced), he is also much more courageous. Bug, despite his misgivings, is willing to attempt to navigate a corn maze.
There’s a popular corn maze not far from my home, and there has not been one autumn when I was tempted to try it. There never will be. Maybe I should re-read Bug’s Trip to the Store. (I did make it through my grandson’s pre-school corn maze when Chip and I accompanied him and his mother on an apple-picking trip. I don’t think that really counts, because it wasn’t actually made of corn, just bales of hay over which we could all easily see.)
In Bug Goes through the Maze, our indomitable friend, Bug, decides to explore a corn maze he passes daily. He is greeted by a friendly pumpkin who shows him where to start, and meets a very smart flower who explains the difference between a labyrinth and a maze (I don’t know when you will use that information, but it’s always nice to add to your store of knowledge.). When the flower advises Bug, “Take your time and enjoy every path and new sight; the choices are endless,” I broke out in a cold sweat. It must have been a flashback to the mirror maze I went through last summer (clinging to my teenage granddaughter’s hand).
Bug bravely plots his course through the maze, taking his time at each intersection and junction. At one point he is stopped by a scarecrow without a clue; he’s lost and scared (sound familiar?). Bug is really a world-class philosopher; he advises the scarecrow, “Don’t give up…I’m sure you will see the choices you make are really the key.” Right there author/illustrator K.M. Groshek delivers a powerhouse message, and we’re not even halfway through the maze…I mean book.
Just as Bug’s confidence flags, he runs into (not literally) the pumpkin who says a few words of encouragement. Bug continues through the maze, coming out a better…um…car. If there’s one thing Bug knows how to do, it’s persevere.
Groshek entertains with a rhythmic poem populated with lively characters illustrated in bright, crayon-box colors. Her final message, “Taking a chance helps you reach, stretch, and grow,” reminds children that having new experiences is a good thing. Bug Goes through the Maze is a lesson in confidence and capability that gives the reader many opportunities for discussion with his or her audience (even if it’s an audience of one).
Bottom Line: Would I buy Bug Goes through the Maze? Yes, I don’t want my copy of Bug Goes to the Store to be lonely.