Book Review: Santiago: True Tales of a Little Bug in a Big World by Jennifer Vitanzo

Santiago: True Tales of a Little Bug in a Big World by Jennifer Vitanzo is currently scheduled for release today, June 5 2019. This is the true story of a wild praying mantis named Santiago and his many unusual adventures across South Africa with his adoptive family—two adult humans, three stuffed animals, a rotating cast of mantis‑sitters, and (for a short time, at least) a pigeon. All told from the mantis’s perspective, of course. His life of a newly hatched praying mantis takes an unexpected turn when he hitches a ride on a flower and ends up in a human’s kitchen. Now faced with surviving in an unknown land, he must learn to navigate the challenges of vacuums, dust bunnies, stovetops, and, most confusing of all, human beings. How will he survive in such an alien world?

Santiago: True Tales of a Little Bug in a Big World is the story of one little bug living in a human world, and discovering things about life in a house with humans, as well as how his own body grows. I loved how facts about mantises and other creatures are shared right along with information about Santiago's adopted family and  his particular adventures. The illustrations, informational text boxes, and photographs were a great addition to the book, and I really enjoyed them. There was plenty of humor right along with the information, and I found the unique perspective to be very entertaining to read and I think it will make many readers stop to think about some of the absurdity of human life, and how special some of the smallest lives can be. The tone of the book and the topics kept me engaged and reading long after I should have gotten up to do other things, but it was so worth it. I am adding this to my daughter's summer birthday gift and I think she will love it just as much as I did, if not more. 

Santiago: True Tales of a Little Bug in a Big World is a clever and delightful read. I highly recommend it for children and adults alike.

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