Spring is here - and in some places there are lots of bugs flitting and flying and crawling about. Here are two books to celebrate the insects - and other arthropods - in your neighborhood.
by Sneed B. Collard III
48 pages; ages 9-12
Earth is a great place to live. But, says Collard, if you look at all the animals on our planet, it becomes clear that insects dominate the life on Earth. Scientists have catalogues nearly 1 million species of insects, and they haven't come close to finding all of them.
Collard gives us the basic body plan for bugs, and then goes into details about how well they can see (some see ultraviolet light), how fast they can fly (35 mph for dragonflies), how tough they are (ironclad for some beetles). He points out the hairiest and the hungriest, tells us the secrets of insect communication, and gives us an inside view of "growing up insect",
As promised, this is a fun bug book. We learn about insects' favorite foods - some will dine on tacos from a dumpster while others prefer sweet nectar - and there's an entire section devoted to the "party animals". Some bugs are very social. Collard introduces us to "good" bugs, those that we use for dyes, food, medicine, and pollination services. He introduces us to "bad bugs" that chew up crops and damage homes. The key thing: insects are essential and play a vital role on our planet. So if we want to do right by our six-legged buddies, we should be planting more gardens - and throwing out the pesticides.
by Richard and Louise Spilsbury
128 pages; ages 7-12
Divided into five chapters, this book gives kids a close-up look at ants, bees, dragonflies, and spiders. One chapter is filled with "frightening fun" - scary statistics and a quiz.
In each chapter you'll learn the basic body parts for that bug, its "superpowers", and get introduced to some diversity in the group. For example, in the chapter about bees you learn about stingers, compound eyes, and living with a queen. Then you get to meet killer bees and leafcutter bees.
The cool thing about dragonflies is how their aquatic larvae use jet propulsion to get around. And some spiders can run - 70 times their body length in a second! That's like running 10 times faster than Usain Bolt.
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resources. Review copies provided by publishers.