The Great Whipplethorp Bug Collection (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers) by Ben Bradshares and Elizabeth Bergeland is a witty, heartwarming exploration of strong father-son relationships and growing up male in today’s culture through the lens of a boy yearning to forge his own identity.

This charming new picture book, geared for ages 4 to 8, offers a multigenerational family portrait with humor and tons of heart, while offering readers the opportunity to have conversations about male identity and the modern American family. In addition to tackling timely and important topics such as toxic masculinity and defying gender norms, this beautifully illustrated and educational picture book will inspire kids to explore the world around them and look for bugs in their own backyards/neighborhoods.

In the story, Chuck Whipplethorp has a lot to live up to. He is Charles Whipplethorp the Fifth after all, named after his seriously cool ancestors who were explorers, soldiers, and scientists.

But one day Chuck looks at his stay-at-home dad, huddled over his laptop, and asks: “Dad … When I grow up, am I going to be as boring as you? With a little help from his nurturing father, Chuck finds his own source of strength and individuality through creativity and helps him to discover that “greatness” comes in many forms.

Says The Horn Book, “Bergeland’s art excels… Brashares’s wise, warm tale delivers a lesson about individuality, belonging, and progress without resorting to preachiness.” – The Horn Book

Buy this book!

photo credit: Wes Jones

Ben Brashares lives in Montclair, New Jersey, with his wife, three children, a dog, a cat, a mouse, and a lizard. His first children’s book, Being Edie is Hard Today, was published by Little, Brown in 2019. He writes about his life as a stay-at-home dad in a blog called The SAHD Life. He holds an MFA in creative writing and has written for several magazines, including Rolling StoneMen’s Journal, and Entertainment Weekly. Visit him online at

Elizabeth Bergeland is the illustrator of Being Edie is Hard Today. She is also a fine artist with a BFA in painting from the University of Colorado who exhibits her work nationally. She lives with her husband and three children in a quirky old row home in Philadelphia. Visit her online at