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Hank's Big Day: The Story of a Bug

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3.76  ·  Rating details ·  703 ratings  ·  126 reviews
Perfect for reading aloud, this spare, charming picture book about a day in the life of a pill bug in suburbia is also about an unusual friendship.

Hank is a pill bug with a busy life—for a pill bug, that is. His daily routine involves nibbling a dead leaf, climbing up a long stick, avoiding a skateboarder, and playing pretend with his best friend, a human girl named Ameli
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Hardcover, 40 pages
Published September 13th 2016 by Schwartz & Wade
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Average rating 3.76  · 
Rating details
 ·  703 ratings  ·  126 reviews


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Erica
One summer, when I was 4 or 5, I found a little black ant crawling around the kitchen. For reasons I don't remember now, I decided I loved her and that we were best friends. I named her Cindy (my favorite name at the time) and took her back outside so she wouldn't be squished in the house. We played together all day and I returned her to her anthill that evening. First thing next morning, I was on my stomach in front of the anthill, calling for her. She came running out, all excited to have anot ...more
Abigail
Nov 26, 2019 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Young Bug Lovers, Would-Be Aviators & Make Believe Players
Hank the pill bug treks through the grass and across a sidewalk, eventually meeting up with his best friend Amelia, and the two embark on a day of adventure together. Flying over the Atlantic (running around the yard), waving to the Queen in England, landing in Paris, and then making their way back, they pass a busy day. As evening approaches, Hank heads home again...

A sweet story of a bug who enjoys the different perspective he gets riding on top of his human friend's helmet, and a little girl
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Kathryn
Jun 07, 2021 rated it liked it
Cute. For me, the part with Amelia felt a little incongruous with the rest of the story, but I appreciated the human-bug friendship and the sense of adventure :-)
Dani ❤️ Perspective of a Writer
Check out more picture book reviews @ Perspective of a Writer...

Hank is a pill bug who during his daily routine meets a human girl named Amelia, in her backyard.

To be honest this cover totally confused me. Due to the title I saw a little boy named Hank. When we got to the little girl I realized my mistake!! The braids are hard to see if you don't expect them. My nephew is constantly on the lookout for books with "brown people" as he calls them. He is part Caribbean, white and asian but totally
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Sassy
Weird, but the illustrations were cool.

**update 9/29**
Now that I've read it aloud to a child, it is less weird and much more adorable. Fun to read aloud.

Weird meant "I felt sad for a little girl whose friend is a bug." Just like Michael and Ben. Yeesh. Makes my heart hurt, but I also get the wonder of the illustrations and the perspective of a bug being able to see the world differently via a cross species friendship. Plus the little girl gets a cool co-pilot.

Read it how you want. Keep it fun.
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Laura Harrison
Sep 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Really cute. Fantastic illustrations.
Susan
Feb 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, story-time
This is my new favorite story time book. I have to plan a bug storytime ASAP just so I can use it! OH my goodness. love it.
Destinee Sutton
Feb 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Hank is a pill bug. Amelia is a girl who idolizes Amelia Earhart. They are best friends.

This is a sweet story about a day in the life of a cute bug. It's only a "big" day in the sense that it was full and tiring and fun.

I liked it a lot. Very charming.
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Colleen
Mar 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lovely illustrations.
Read  Ribbet
Minimal words with extra captions, Hank's Big Day tells the tale of a pill bug going through his day. Some good adjective samples to point out in captions. Certainly a book to talk about different perspectives metaphorically. Hank has a human friend that takes him on some additional journeys. The book has as symmetrical structure as Hank repeats his journey in reverse order as he heads home. The book may have been stronger if it was more factually base, but it has some literary elements that cou ...more
Barbara
Handsome digital illustrations displayed in various shapes, sizes, and positions highlight the unlikely story of a pill bug named Hank. As he sallies forth from under a rock, he encounters some intimidating insects and has some narrow escapes as well as moving slowly through the yard. All that effort is rewarded when he finally reaches his best friend, a girl who fashions herself after the great aviator, Amelia Earhart, and takes Hank along her trans-Atlantic flight. After their day spent playin ...more
Amalia
Nov 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Awards: n/a

Appropriate grade level(s): k-2nd

Summary: Hank is a little pill bug who explores the big dangerous world. Hank is friends with a little human girl named Amelia and together they use their imaginations to play games and explore the world around them. After they are done playing, Hanks loves to go back to his cozy little home under a rock.

Review: I think this is an adorable book for early readers. I think this book is special in that it really shows young readers the importance of usi
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Erin
Had a great time reading this to my kids, especially to the beginning reader who noticed I was skipping the textual asides and started reading them himself. Probably better for one-on-one reading or an older storytime; just right for exploring friendships and bugs.

Might inspire a reader to go find their own Hank and explore the world outside.
Jason
This is the first picture book I've read that's a story of a friendship between a human and a pill bug and is worth noting for that distinction alone. It's not bad, which makes it the best pill bug human friendship picture book I've ever read! ...more
Tracey
Jan 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
diverse picture book (Hank the bug goes on a journey, spends half the book with a new friend)
Love the cover and illustrations, doesn't work as well for dial a story though (the pictures really help tell the story).
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Jeannie
Oct 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
I loved the illustrations, but it was a slightly difficult read because the story was laid out in different formats and there were lots of "other words" on the page. But very cute story. ...more
Angela
Mar 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Any book about a roly poly is a win in our house! We loved the illustrations and easy to read story.
Viviane Elbee
This is a very fun book, about a little girl, Amelia, and her pillbug friend, Hank.
In this story, Hank is happy to trek across the lawn and sidewalk to meet up with his human friend and play pretend airplane with her.
The illustrations are adorable and there are lots of details in the illustrations to notice.
Best for older preschoolers and elementary school students. Kids who like pillbugs (or other bugs) will relate. Also good for those seeking stories with airplane themes, Amelia Earhart them
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Amy Layton
Apr 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picturebooks
This was one of the cutest picturebooks I've read in a long time, from the illustrations to the typography to the story.  There was awesome use of space on the page, and the colors were the perfect fit for a vibrant story set in nature.  Pillbugs (or rather, roly-polies) were such an important insect to me as a child, so to see that reflected in a picturebook was so endearing and fun.  I definitely recommend this for any child and any person who just loves insects.

Review cross-listed here!
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Emma
This book follows a bug named Hank as he travels across the area he lives in and then meets up with his friend Amelia. Amelia is a young girl who takes Hank around and they play together. As they play together Hank sees the world from above and gets a different perspective on what he normally only sees small portions of. This book would be great for children around grades kindergarten through second. This book could be used to talk about different perspectives as the book explores how Hank and A ...more
Lynne Marie
Mar 24, 2020 rated it it was ok
I didn't really like this. I don't think that little kids should really be taking bugs from their habitats as they could hurt / damage them, so I didn't really like the message. I'm not even sure what it was trying to say and am sorry to say found it both a bit boring and contrived. Not that it wasn't creative and fun toward the end, but just really not a clear journey for me or what I could perceive for a child reader either. ...more
Pamela J. Hatch
A day in the life of a pill bug who comes out from under his rock and explores his world. He is so small and the world is so big. He comes across other bugs and obstacles in nature as well as amazing sights like chalk drawings on the sidewalk and makes a new friend, Amelia, who enjoys him just like he is.

There are two sections that have horizontal text which young readers may need help figuring out how to read.

A Junior Library Guild Selection
Emily
Mar 20, 2021 rated it liked it
Five stars for the illustrations, two for the text. The story plods in short, declarative sentences, giving no personality to Hank the pillbug, or Amelia, his human friend. Chuck Groenink's expressive, textured illustrations are joyful and beautiful, carrying the story. (In fact, I think it would work as a wordless book.) ...more
Miss Sarah
Dec 08, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: adventure, friendship, bug
A bug begins his day with breakfast and then takes us through his day all the way until he meets his best friend a girl named Amelia for a day of adventure. Cute friendship themes. Preschool and up for length. I could see the right group repeating the ants actions.
Hilary
Feb 01, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
I'm glad that the little girl returns the pillbug to his home at the end of the day. An important thing to teach children who like to gather creatures from the garden, woods, and yard to examine and learn about. ...more
Kirsten
This is very cute, and I like the choice to illustrate Amelia as a black girl. I thought the illustrations were spectacular! However, the story doesn't have a very good flow for reading out loud. It might appeal more to kids who are starting to read on their own. ...more
Vicki
Jul 07, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture
A pill bug aka potato bug explores his world and beyond with the help of his human friend. Amelia who happens to have an interest in her namesake Amelia Earhart takes Hank on a flight around their neighborhood.

Illustrations are super cute.
Flossmoor Public Library (IL)
3 stars
This is a very well-done picture book! The story describes a day in the life of a pill bug named Hank.
From traveling through the yard, exercising on sticks, crossing dangerous cracks in the sidewalk, and
playing with a human friend named Amelia…Hank has an exciting day!

- Miss Emily
Hannah Hayes
This story follows a pillbug as he goes through his day. This story isn't fill with real facts like the fly book, but it is cute a engaging and would be a good way to start a conversation about different kinds of bugs. ...more
Bethany Joy
Aug 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Sweet story of a bug and the girl he loves... Who happens to also be a girl of color whose favorite person is Amelia Earhart. Lovely illustrations and the kids were intrigued by the view point of the bug.
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  Jordan Morris is a comedy writer and podcaster whose credits include @Midnight, Unikitty! and Earth to Ned.  The sci-fi comedy Bubble is his...
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