Wingmaker by Dave Cameron, illustrated by David Huyck

Wingmaker by Dave Cameron, illustrated by David Huyck. Kids Can Press, 9781525302374, 2021

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5

Genre:  Picture book

What did you like about the book? Leaf and Lou are two industrious ants who live in a colony at the foot of a tall cherry tree. After their work is finished, they often visit Gramma Tinker, an old caterpillar who lives on the branches of the tree. She is an inventor who has created many tools to make the insects’ lives easier. One day they find her creating the “Wingmaker 77” a tent-like device woven from the finest silk that Gramma feels she will need as she approaches the advanced age of 77 days. She studies the wings of many flying creatures in the community and settles on the “Moth Method”. Leaf and Lou go off to continue their chores after Gramma tells them to return in two weeks. When they arrive back at her house, they see a note taped to the wall. Gramma is asking them to turn on the lights and tells them she will see them soon. Sure enough, that night a winged creature is circling the light and the ants realize it is Gramma who has metamorphosized into a moth. The end page tells young readers facts about the moth featured in the character of Gramma – an eastern tent caterpillar. The charmingly detailed artwork is delightfully described as being “rendered in pixels, with imaginary pencils, digital smudges and a handful of colors picked from an infinite palette”.

Anything you didn’t like about it? It would have been helpful if the author also included a description of the comparison of the eastern tent caterpillar with the gypsy moth as they are often confused. 

To whom would you recommend this book? This book is perfect as a read-aloud or for young readers who are interested in science and insects. The text would work nicely as a complement to a technology and engineering unit, insect study, or simply to introduce a strong and independent female character (albeit of the insect variety). 

Who should buy this book? Elementary and public libraries

Where would you shelve it? Picture books

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? While it isn’t a “must-have”, the book is interesting and fun to read.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Linda Broderick, Lincoln Street Elementary School, Northboro, MA

Date of review: 4/23/2021

This entry was posted in *Book Review, *Picture Book, *Starred Review, Dave Cameron, David Huyck, Grandparents, Insects, Inventions and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.