By Steve Jenkins
Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, $16.99, 34 pages
This vividly illustrated, fact-filled reference book is a treasure trove of information about beetles. Each page features at least one visually arresting illustration of a beetle surrounded by facts broken into easily digestible one- to two-sentence segments. The pages are organized by theme: beetle senses, battling beetles, hunters and scavengers, etc., and include beetles that best illustrate the theme. When beetles are blown up to larger-than-life scales, the page also features a silhouette that shows the actual size.
“Line up every kind of plant and animal on Earth, and one of every four will be a beetle.”
While the average reader will not read this book in a single sitting, he or she will find the reading to be a rewarding experience. The Beetle Book will entertain with interesting facts — the African goliath beetle, for example, is as big as a person’s hand — and the illustrations are absolutely stunning. This would be a great reference book for any children’s library and a handy way to get kids interested in insects.
Reviewed by Tammy McCartney