'BOOK OF THE YEAR'  – PANZ New Zealand Book design Awards

'BEST CHILDREN'S BOOK’ – PANZ New Zealand Book design Awards

2012 WHITE RAVEN - with Special Mention  
“The endearing tale of two little bugs living on the same leaf. But while Little Bug Red enjoys the sunshine on top munching away hungrily, Little Bug Blue feels lonely and depressed in the dark shade underneath. No amount of coaxing from energetic Red can move anxious Blue to overcome his fears and self-pity and climb up to the top, until there is nothing left but the leaf’s stalk… Bite-sized holes and chomped-away edges allow the bugs to communicate with each other, and provide readers with glimpses of the next page. The humorous illustrations with the two bright bug protagonists placed against a background of black and pale green, the witty rhyming text, and the appealing design make for a winning combination”

(The White Ravens is a list of 250 outstanding children’s books by the International Youth Library in Germany and is showcased each year at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair. Books were selected from thousands of titles submitted from 40 countries around the world)

NATIONAL RADIO - John McIntyre “Playful, clever... it’s a stunning book - a very clever two-hander with its alternate ‘woe is me’, ‘come on, snap out of it’ dialogue told in pitch perfect rhyme - but there is so much more to it than this. The construction of the book is absolutely superb – probably the best piece of design work I have seen outside of the pop-up book market. Mark’s skill with words comes through and Rowan continually blows me away with the skill and beauty of her illustrations. There’s a lot of layers to this book … It has quite a whimsical beauty to it.” {Click here to listen to John's full review on our blog}

NZ HERALD CANVAS MAGAZINE - Graham Hepburn “Another terrific book from the husband and wife team of Mark and Rowan Sommerset, who know how to deliver the total package: a whimsical story, delightful illustrations, great typography and beautiful production. In this encounter, two little bugs - one on the top and the other on the underside of the leaf - have different perspectives on the world. Little Bug Blue bemoans his lot on the underside while Little Bug Red is all positivity as it munches away and tries to help its mate see the bright side.”

GOOD READING, AUSTRALIA - Merle Morcom  “I fell hook line and sinker for this book after the first two pages ... written in simple, satisfying rhyme, presented in such a fun design, and the happy ending is just perfect. 4 1/2 stars.” 

KIDS-BOOKREVIEW.COM - Tania McCartney “From the creators of the hilarious Baa Baa Smart Sheep and I Love Lemonade, comes this adorable little book about two little bugs and their little conundrum. Clever, insightful, delightfully subtle on the morals - something both kids and adults warmly appreciate - this book is so charmingly illustrated, it hurts your eyes. I simply adore its holey, chewed-upon and leaf-shaped pages, its beautiful colouring and the luscious paper used for its pages. Buggishly brilliant. Next please, Sommersets!”

MYLITTLEBOOKCASE.COM.AU - Jackie Small  “You happily get more than you bargain for with this crafty little book. It skillfully uses the text and illustrations to provide the reader with two simultaneous stories. Mark’s sweet text tells a story of two bugs who share a leaf. Rowan’s simple illustrations and die-cut pages depict the life cycle of a caterpillar. Each nibble of the leaf sees a hole in the pages grow larger and larger until only a chrysalis hangs from a stalk (This is a wonderful feature that will delight children with each turn of a page). Two Little Bugs cleverly and beautifully shares two points of view and amalgamates the life cycle of a caterpillar with the story of taking risks with a friend by your side. Together with cleverly designed pages, the themes of friendship, anxiety and life cycles will ensure that Two Little Bugs is a hit with children and families.” “Just one glimpse at that cover is enough to tell any savvy reader that is this is going to be an endearing picture book. Two Little Bugs, with its wonderfully thick pages, imparts a story of friendship and bravery ... The quirkily shaped pages, and emergence of little holes engage young readers wonderfully as the story develops in such a delicately visual way ... Two Little Bugs is a picture book with a difference; a beautiful storyline and imaginatively crafted illustrations bring pure delight to its readers.”

SOUTHLAND TIMES - Jillian Allison-Aitken  “(Mark and Rowan's) great little books feature cute drawings that will capture your attention and stories that are so much fun you will fall in love with them as quickly as your children do. Another wee gem, Two Little Bugs is written in rhyme with the same quirky touch to the illustrations as their earlier books... a classic in the making.”

HASTINGS LEADER – Linda Hall “This little beauty is full of surprises... told in rhyme with cleverly positioned peepholes so you get both sides of the story. One bug wants to come out from underneath the leaf, while the other is only interested in chewing and chomping his way through it. A lovely story with a message of new beginnings.”

MARIA GILL - kidsbooksNZ “If you loved 'The Hungry Little Caterpillar' you will thoroughly enjoy this insect tale.  There's lift-up leaves, cut-out holes, curved page-edges, creative fonts, colour used to great effect and a great story. Parents and teachers could use this story as a nature lesson about the different stages insects go through, and also about being positive and enjoying the little things in life such as a sunny day...”

WAIKATO TIMES - Abbie Jury “Two LIttle Bugs is a charming hardback book with die-cut pages from paper of sufficient quality to withstand little hands repeatedly putting their fingers in the holes and around the shapes. The text, in verse from alternating points of view, is begging to be read aloud. I like this book because it teaches about different points of view through story, without needing to labour the point and preach. It is well suited to littlies coming up to the age of three through to about seven.”