The Travel Bug by Benjamin Gilmour and James Gulliver Hancock

The Travel Bug by Benjamin Gilmour and illustrated by James Gulliver Hancock is a travelling entomologists dream!

Published by Penguin Random House, Australia, The Travel Bug takes the reader on an investigative adventure around the world and around the many bugs which inhabit it!

As you read this book you will not only learn about different insects of the world but also different places in the world and the fact that everyone has a wonderful story to tell and is willing to help you out.

The pictures in this travelling tale are eye catching and I am sure many a budding entomologist will devour the pages whilst they search for more bugs.

Rhyme sets the tone in The Travel Bug as the bug is offered pistachio flan, a lesson in flamenco and is photographed by a moth in Kyoto!

Travelling is such an empowering experience and whether it be in your home country or overseas, it opens you up to new ways of life, new people and new ideas. When you do travel with young children it should be travel that teaches them about the location – not just a resort that resembles home culture or creates laziness – do we all really need those resort style holidays as often as we are told we do? Taking ourselves and our children camping, into a new town centre, along to different community events and playing with other children or talking to other adults are vital to building skills of resilience, adventure and confidence – skills which can even be developed in an adult!

So what else can you do at home with this book? 


  • How do insects play a role in our lives?
  • Could there be a world without travel bugs? Could there be a world without any bugs?
  • How do humans impact insects?


  • Is there a way we can travel the world sustainably? This can be discussed with young children through how we travel, what we do when we travel, where we place our rubbish and how we spend our money through buying local. Perhaps talk to you r child when planning your next holiday about how you can make less of an impact.


  • Rhyme – As you read talk about the words that rhyme and think of some new rhyming words.
  • Visual literacy – what else do the pictures tell us? There is so much more to see and perhaps some new stories to be made from the amazing illustrations!
  • Creative writing – Where would you like to travel to? What would you like to learn from other people around your country or the world?


  • Look at the map at the back of the book – where did he travel?
  • Are there some types of insects that live in more than one country?
  • How do you think this insect travelled to each country?


  • List all of the different books that are mentioned and all of the different books that have been drawn. Compare these bugs to real images and then try and draw some of your own!
  • Which sort of insects can travel long distances?  How do they travel?



 The Travel Bug


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