This book is not from another culture but from another species: insects! Du iz Tak? is an almost wordless book, the only text being the dialogue of the insects in ‘insect’! We are invited to see the world in insect-view and puzzle out what the insects think and feel. The lack of familiar words helps the reader dive fully into the insect sensibilities and relationships.
The story begins with an almost empty page - just a log on the ground, three insects and a green shoot which has emerged from the earth and is coiled with possibility. One insect asks, “Du iz tak?” to which the other replies, “Ma nazoot”. And so, the story and plant grow alongside each other. We become privy to the insect world as life scuttles on. The plant grows, becomes a home to some insects, is colonised by a spider and finally blooms: the insects proclaim it is a gladdenboot. And we celebrate its brief gladdening bloom with the enchanting insects.
As time passes, the gladdenboot, now past its peak, withers and falls to the ground. The insects that loved it so leave and winter arrives. Gorgeous moths dance in the night sky; snow covers the earth thickly and at last it is spring again. We see tiny green shoots; another insect who asks “Du iz tak?”