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Insects and invertebrates

Aston, Dianna Hutts  A Beetle Is Shy Gr. K–3     40 pp.     Chronicle Illustrated by Sylvia Long. Larger-than-life watercolor illustrations of colorful, gem-like beetles are framed by poetic text describing their features and behaviors. This exploration of beetle biodiversity showcases their “kaleidoscopic” colors; their range of stature (“A beetle is colossal… / or microscopic”); their lively […]

Our butterfly project

In July, the world is in bloom. Midsummer fields are speckled with wildflowers and abuzz with insects and birds enjoying the sweet nectar. Eager to celebrate this bounty of color and sound, my kids and I ordered a butterfly kit to hatch Painted Lady butterflies. (Our kit came from Insect Lore, which offers other creature […]

Review of Cricket in the Thicket: Poems About Bugs

Cricket in the Thicket: Poems About Bugs by Carol Murray; illus. by Melissa Sweet Primary    Ottaviano/Holt    40 pp. 5/17    978-0-8050-9818-1    $17.99 Twenty-nine common insects and arachnids (from ants to spiny-back spiders) are on display in Murray’s lively poems and Sweet’s inviting mixed-media illustrations. The titular cricket opens the proceedings in a poem mimicking an elusive […]

Review of Give Bees a Chance

Give Bees a Chance by Bethany Barton; illus. by the author Primary    Viking    40 pp.    g 4/17    978-0-670-01694-5    $16.99 The main character of this book — a cartoon boy named Edgar, eyes opened wide in amusingly fearful and skeptical facial expressions — definitely doesn’t like bees. This gives the (offstage) […]

Shoo, fly

It seems that the insect-of-the-moment is… the fly (and I don’t know why; maybe butterflies were too pretty). Here are five recent books starring those pests, plus reviews of a few more favorites below. Could that Old Lady who swallowed one have been on to something?         Super Fly: The World’s Smallest Superhero! […]

Creepy-crawlies

Burns, Loree Griffin  Beetle Busters: A Rogue Insect and the People Who Track It Gr. 4–6, middle school     64 pp.   Houghton Photographs by Ellen Harasimowicz. Scientists in the Field series. The Asian longhorned beetle (ALB), an invasive species, threatens “the entire northeastern hardwood forest.” In Worcester, Massachusetts, scientists and residents hypothesize that destroying all of […]