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1001 duiztak
Added on 31st July 2020

Author and Illustrator Carson Ellis
First published 2016
Publisher Walker

Enjoy the quirky invented bug language and watch the cycle of life unfold.


This circular story begins with a green shoot as it starts to grow. Two damsel flies watch it unfurl and soon more and more bugs begin to arrive. “What is that?” they wonder. Tension mounts with the arrival of a spider and then a large bird and the cycle of life continues. The whole story is told through an invented, lyrical ‘bug’ language, as the insects chat to each other.

Why we chose it

The invented bug language is a joy to read and the bugs themselves are full of character in this quirky picture book which celebrates the wonder of the natural world.

Where it came from

Carson Ellis (1975-) is an American author and illustrator who lives on a farm in Oregon with her husband, two sons, one cat, two llamas, two goats, one sheep and multiple chickens! The story was conceived while the author was gardening. She wanted to create a book about the circle of life, but not a boring one!

Where it went next

Du Iz Tok? has been sold in many different countries including Sweden, Holland, Germany, Portugal and China. Translations had to ensure that the nuances from each different language were accounted for, so that the ‘gibberish’ still worked.

In 2017 Carson was awarded both the Caldecott Honor book and the E.B. White Read Aloud Award for Du Iz Tak? In 2018 a short animated film of the book was released, directed and animated by Galen Fott.

Associated stories

Home (2016) is Carson Ellis’ first picture book. It is an imaginative celebration of what and where ‘home' may be. It is also available as a Spanish translation. In the Half Room (2020) is a quirky book where the half room is full of half things! Carson has also illustrated many other books including The Composer is Deadly by Lemony Snicket.

Added on 31st July 2020

Author and Illustrator Carson Ellis
First published 2016
Publisher Walker