Arnosky, Jim Creep and Flutter: The Secret World of Insects and Spiders
Gr. 4–6 40 pp. Sterling
This introductory volume encourages readers to be “mindful of the small.” Arnosky highlights specimens in labeled groupings that he presents — textually and visually — in accurate, captivating, and even tender detail. Conversational prose is illustrated with the author’s own acrylic and pencil art, some “supersized,” with magnification scale noted. The information-rich layouts are attractively designed; several foldouts enable expansive viewing. Reading list.
Subjects: Insects and Invertebrates; Animals—Insects; Animals—Spiders
Burns, Loree Griffin Handle with Care: An Unusual Butterfly Journey
Gr. K–3 32 pp. Millbrook
Photographs by Ellen Harasimowicz. An explanation of the life cycle of butterflies gets an intriguing twist in this account of the work of a Costa Rican butterfly farm, where blue morpho butterflies are raised and the pupae eventually shipped to museums for display and observation. Detailed discussion of each life stage is accompanied by wonderfully sharp, close-up photographs that show intricate structural details. Reading list. Bib., glos., ind.
Subjects: Insects and Invertebrates; Animals—Butterflies; Animals—Caterpillars; Costa Rica; Farms and farm life; Metamorphosis
Huber, Raymond Flight of the Honey Bee
Gr. K–3 32 pp. Candlewick
Illustrated by Brian Lovelock. As the hive prepares for winter, worker bee Scout embarks on a food-foraging expedition, searching for enough nectar and pollen to survive. Huber’s simple but dynamic language hums with an avian vibrancy. In Lovelock’s watercolor, acrylic ink, and colored-pencil illustrations, splattered dots represent pollen and hailstones; textured brushstrokes convey flight patterns, vibrating wings, and pelting rain. A satisfying early science book. Ind.
Subjects: Insects and Invertebrates; Animals—Bees; Animals—Honeybees
Lasky, Kathryn Silk & Venom: Searching for a Dangerous Spider
Gr. 4–6, middle school 64 pp. Candlewick
Photographs by Christopher G. Knight. Lasky shadows arachnologist Greta Binford as she investigates Loxosceles spiders. The text attentively explains the research in absorbing detail, clearly showing how each piece of data provides evidence for the species’ migration and evolution. This care extends to the numerous photographs and diagrams that portray Binford’s meticulous research techniques, the spiders themselves, and the people who find them fascinating. Websites. Bib., glos., ind.
Subjects: Insects and Invertebrates; Animals—Spiders; Scientists; Women—Scientists
Pringle, Laurence Scorpions!: Strange and Wonderful
Gr. 4–6 32 pp. Boyds
Illustrated by Meryl Henderson. Pringle cuts through misconceptions about scorpions with no-nonsense factual information. Scorpion range and habitats, hunting and feeding behaviors, and reproduction are explored. Pringle also provides explanations of scorpion body structures, including the mesmerizing, stinger-tipped tail. Numerous delicate, detailed paintings of scorpions include field guide–like illustrations of single specimens as well as portrayals of the scorpions interacting with other animals. Websites. Bib.
Subjects: Insects and Invertebrates; Animals—Scorpions
From the May 2014 issue of Nonfiction Notes from the Horn Book.