Bugs. For the most part I can co-exist peacefully with them as long as the creepy crawly ones remember my rules – you stay up there, I will stay down there. If you come into my space, I will squish you and feel only a little badly. Unless you are a fire ant or a mosquito. Then I will squish you and be happy about it.
I got to learn way more than I need to (and am still grossed out) by two bug books I read today.
Nature All Around Bugs
Despite the fact the bugs in Nature All Around Bugs by Pamela Hickman were illustrations (by Carolyn Gavin), they were still disgusting ($18.99, Kids Can Press). In this new release, we learn the difference (not that it matters) between an insect and a true bug, learn about insect imposters and how to bug hunt (but not kill) the creatures all year long. If you want to attract them, you can also build an insect feeder.
There was lots of information about bugs in this book that was interesting. Gavin showed closeup pictures of each part of a bug so you able to distinguish between the creatures. Throughout the book you also learn about some of the strange bugs you may come across like the disgusting silverfish (which doesn’t go through a metamorphosis, but rather hatches like a mini version of the adult) and a termite queen, which, at maturity, can produce 40,000 eggs PER DAY! Shudder.
I review Nature All Around Trees here.
Megabugs and other Prehistoric Critters that Roamed the Planet
So if centipedes, spiders (inspect imposters) and true bugs weren’t disgusting enough, I had the – ahem – pleasure of reading about the disgusting, giant bugs roamed the planet and thankfully went extinct often because of their inability to evolve.
Megabugs by Helaine Becker and illustrated by John Bindon ($18.99, Kids Can Press) breaks down the various periods of Earth and then proceeds to tell us about The Spy, The Stinger and The Flier, megabugs that roamed the Earth. The best part about the information Becker shares is how these creatures became, thankfully, extinct.
The Stinger, for example, was about two feet, seven inches tall (and each creature had a handy guide that showed you the size of the creature compared to that of a four-foot, seven-inch person). It was, as Becker described it, a scorpion the size of a pit bull with huge, sharp pinchers and a telson that could stab and paralyze prey with its venom. “Then it would suck the fluids from inside the still-living body.” The Slitherer, on the other hand, grew to be about eight feet, six inches. It died out as the climate gradually became drier.
I interviewed Helaine Becker about her book Counting on Katherine, among other titles. Check out her Q&A here.
A copy of these books were provided by Kids Can Press for an honest review.
The opinions are my own.