Bomby, The Military Review
A review of the book Bomby, the Bombardier Beetle , written by Hazel Mae Rue, illustrated by Sandy Morton, published by the Institute for Creation Research, El Cajon, California, 1984, ISBN 0-932766-13-7, 40 pages.
Paragraph 1, Section 1
Bomby, a young bombardier beetle, is the principal character of this book. In it, we learn that bombardier beetles received their common name because they have cannon in their tails. Now, in military aircraft cannon are usually operated by the pilots. A bombardier, found only aboard larger offensive bombers, operates the bomb bay and guides the aircraft over the target. Thus the book falters on accuracy, but we may allow insectoid civilians literary license knowing that they lack strategic command of the subject
Paragraph 2, Section 1
The elder beetles in this book tell stories of past campaigns, where bombardier beetles proudly mounted decimating attacks on tiger beetles, an army of ants, frogs, dragons, orb-weaving spiders -- and a little girl. "Bomby thanked God for such a perfect design."
Paragraph 3, Section 1
Two-color artwork is very much like the simplified, cost-effective illustrations of Cold War era children.s books. Too bad the second color had to be red. Lt. Sandy Thornton is apparently the illustrator-in-chief, as the only one credited on the title page, but 15 more enlisted illustrators are mentioned elsewhere. As a military operation of any size requires a considerable amount of intelligence and evaluation, I am happy to see the practical military structure of a project director, five educational consultants, and 21 project writers.
Paragraph 4, Section 1
With such promise in military science, I was disappointed to find just one acronym in this book: "TB means Tiger Beetle, of course" (p. 13). Yet even so, it is a credit to the general staff that so much classified data has been gathered, particularly since communications between members of this beetle family are inaudible. As the author corroborates (p. 7), "Of course, you and I as people would have heard absolutely nothing."
Paragraph 5, Section 1
Bomby learns about the complex chemistry of bombardier beetle defense. Young readers will benefit tremendously from Bomby.s father.s weapons briefing. "We have two glands in our tail ends [sic]," he says (p. 23). (The glossary lists "glands" as "an organ of the body." Any more questions, soldier?)
Paragraph 6, Section 1
The book is very useful, too, as a concise manual of chemical warfare. The young reader will learn that after hydroquinone and hydrogen peroxide are combined in a "collecting room," then somehow transferred to a "firing chamber" that contains a 60% solution of catalase and peroxidase, a muscle shoots the product out through the "tail pipes" where it spontaneously explodes. Safe-handling procedures are emphasized. "If it exploded inside, it would blow any Bombardier Beetle to smithereens. No beetle has ever been blown up"(p. 23).
Concluding Paragraph , Section 1
The opportunity to take notice of a book which combines both natural and military science is an extraordinarily welcome literary event. One may question the propriety of such a book written for children, yet after reading this volume I can only praise its angle, attitude, explosive content, and on-target delivery. Hazel May Rue masterfully explains for young readers the underlying purposes of defense and offense in the natural world, of which humans are a part. We learn, too, that everything is directed by the Supreme Commander. Readers will be engaged in this book.
© Copyright 2000 Annals of Improbable Research (AIR)