Reviews for Bug Muldoon : The Garden of Fear

Booklist Monthly Selections - #2 September 2001
Gr. 4-6. Hard-shelled, hardboiled ("The sun began to slide over the horizon in disgust. I knew how it felt. It had been a long day") private eye Bug Muldoon takes on a seemingly simple missing insect case and soon finds himself enmeshed in a gardenwide conspiracy centering on a nest full of wasps and a treacherous ant general. Shipton trots out all the standard characters, from the twitchy informant (a fly with a sugar addiction) to the leggy reporter (a grasshopper named Velma), and throws Bug into a fine array of chases, brawls, running gags, and tight spots on his way to saving the reigning ant queen from assassination. The levels of humor and violence, plus a certain amount of abstract discourse on topics such as the benefits of individuality versus the security of mindless obedience, make this a good choice for kids who find Bruce Hale's Chet Gecko books a bit babyish. The cartoons at the head of each chapter belie the story's sophistication. ((Reviewed September 15, 2001)) Copyright 2001 Booklist Reviews

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2001 Fall
A beetle who works as a private investigator looks into some mysterious doings in the garden where he lives. He discovers that a coup is about to topple the queen of a local ant colony. Though many readers won't understand the gag, the novel satirizes the conventions of hard-boiled detective fiction--but it's a one-joke premise that drags on too long. Copyright 2001 Horn Book Guide Reviews

School Library Journal Reviews 2001 October
Gr 4-6-An unusual plot, interesting characters, and an exciting adventure will keep readers turning the pages. Similar in concept to the popular movies A Bug's Life and Antz, this book revolves around the life of a garden detective, a beetle named Bug. He is taken to see the Queen Ant, who asks him to locate a secret group of ant individualists that are threatening the existence of the whole colony. Although the plot begins simply enough, unpredictable twists and turns will keep readers guessing. The characters are ingeniously modeled after a wide variety of insects and reflect distinctive personalities. For example, Bug's part-time sidekick is Shaky Jake, a housefly who shakes when he doesn't get his sugar fix. An unusual, offbeat mystery that's great fun.-Sarah O'Neal, Salt Lake County Library System, UT Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.