Illustrations ©2006 by Anik McGrory. With permission of Dutton.
Desmond was a sweet boy . . . usually. Most days, he hugged his mom and dad, patted his dog, Buster, and got ready for school on time.
He hardly ever left his toys on the stairway and was always willing to help fix a drippy faucet or water the gardenias.
Desmond tried to be good all the time. And most of the time he was. But when the Naughtybugs showed up, it was hard to be good. VERY hard. And you just never knew when they might show up.
I wrote this story when Jackson was about four years old. Like most kids this age, Jackson struggled with "impulse control" (as the parenting books so nicely phrase it). He WANTED to be good, he TRIED to be good, but there were just so many temptations! When he did slip up, he often said "I couldn't help it!", and to some extent this was true. It's as if forces beyond his control took over and compelled him to do things he knew he shouldn't. I decided to call these forces the Naughtybugs.
I wanted to show a generally good, sweet, boy wrestling with the sorts of behaviors -- dawdling, squirming, whining, etc -- that are so common at this age. I wanted to give children a way to name those behaviors so they could recognize them and discuss them more easily with their parents and teachers. And, most of all, I wanted to make children AND adults laugh, because laughter has a magical way of dispelling tension and frustration.
Although Jackson is older now, and much better at controlling his impulses, he still cracks up when Desmond pulls that apple, crawls out from under the restaurant table, and splashes his ducky in the water. I hope this book has the same effect on other children (and their parents and teachers) who struggle with the Naughtybugs on a daily basis.
Anik McGrory has taken a very creative approach to illustrating the Naughtybugs. For more information about Anik and her books, click here
: naughty behavior, impulse control, humor, parenting, imagination. Download teaching ideas below: