________________ CM . . . . Volume XIII Number 3 . . . . September 29, 2006

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Everyday Insects. (The World of Insects).

Bobbie Kalman & Rebecca Sjonger.
St. Catharines, ON: Crabtree, 2006.
32 pp., pbk. & cl., $8.06 (pbk.), $20.76 (RLB.).
ISBN 0-7787-2370-4 (pbk), ISBN 0-7787-2336-4 (RLB.).

Subject Heading:
Insects-Juvenile literature.

Grades 1-3 / Ages 6-8.

Review by Gail Hamilton.

**½ /4



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Insect Defenses. (The World of Insects).

Bobbie Kalman & Rebecca Sjonger.
St. Catharines, ON: Crabtree, 2006.
32 pp., pbk. & cl., $8.06 (pbk.), $20.76 (RLB.).
ISBN 0-7787-2368-2 (pbk), ISBN 0-7787-2334-8 (RLB.).

Subject Heading:
Insects-Juvenile literature.
Insects-Defenses-Juvenile literature.

Grades 1-3 / Ages 6-8.

Review by Gail Hamilton.

**½ /4

   
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Insect Homes. (The World of Insects).

Bobbie Kalman & John Crossingham.
St. Catharines, ON: Crabtree, 2006.
32 pp., pbk. & cl., $8.06 (pbk.), $20.76 (RLB.).
ISBN 0-7787-2379-8 (pbk), ISBN 0-7787-2345-3 (RLB.).

Subject Heading:
Insects-Habitations-Juvenile literature.

Grades 1-3 / Ages 6-8.

Review by Gail Hamilton.

**½ /4


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Insects in Danger. (The World of Insects).

Kathryn Smithyman & Bobbie Kalman.
St. Catharines, ON: Crabtree, 2006.
32 pp., pbk. & cl., $8.06 (pbk.), $20.76 (RLB.).
ISBN 0-7787-2378-X (pbk), ISBN 0-7787-2344-5 (RLB.).

Subject Heading:
Insects-Juvenile literature.
Endangered species-Juvenile literature.

Grades 1-3 / Ages 6-8.

Review by Gail Hamilton.

**½ /4


excerpt:

Some insects use the colors on their bodies to defend themselves in other ways. Insects such as yellow underwing moths have brightly colored wings. The moths tuck away their wings when they are not using them to fly. When these insects lift their wings to fly, the bursts of color may surprise their attackers. While the attackers are distracted, the moths escape. (From Insect Defenses.)

 
Part of the eight-title “The World of Insects” series, these books offer young children a very basic introduction to the insect world and provide them with simple text as they begin to read nonfiction. Averaging 14 chapters each, the books all start with the definition of an insect, followed by a large diagram showing an insect's main body parts. At the back of each book is an activity to try. The text is large, easy to comprehend and broken into manageable sections while “Did you know?” boxes give additional information and add appeal to the books' layout. Words printed in boldface type appear in the glossary. A table of contents and an index are also included. In true Kalman style, there are plenty of excellent colour photographs- many of them close-ups- of insects and their homes.

     Everyday Insects features the insects that children will encounter in their backyards or neighborhoods - beetles, butterflies and moths, crickets and grasshoppers, flies, mantids, cockroaches, dragonflies, earwigs, bugs (here the authors point out that not all insects are bugs, but all bugs are insects), fleas and lice, ants, bees and wasps, and termites. A matching game invites readers to match insects with a close-up of their specialized body parts, one example being a tube to sip nectar.

     Insect Defenses shows readers a variety of ways in which insects protect themselves from predators. Topics include sensing enemies with compound eyes and antennae, protective parts (the elytra, or front wings, of a ladybug, for instance, which close over its body to shield the back), camouflage, movement, mimicry, warning colours, venom, bad smells and tastes, noises, and giving up a body part in order to escape. There is also mention of how guards in a colony of social insects will protect the group.

     In Insect Homes, the authors discuss both found and built homes in different habitats. Burrows, trees, colonies, hives, ant farms, termite mounds, nests and paper homes are featured along with information about nurseries in which the eggs and larva of insects are hidden from predators. A game board is provided at the back of the book. Using game pieces and a die, players will journey through a termite mound in order to bring food and water to the termite queen, and learn facts about termites along the way.

     Finally, Insects in Danger explains the threats to insect life on Earth- and some insects might even become extinct before humans have had a chance to discover them. Though it takes the authors quite a while to get to each of the points, perhaps this is necessary for the young audience. Reasons for insects being in danger include clearing rainforests, developing recreational areas in deserts (which uses up the water, already in scarce supply), planting crops, using grasslands for dirtbike and ATV riding, draining wetlands, using pesticides, collecting insects, and introducing plants and animals to other habitats, leading to an imbalance of nature. Readers will also learn about preserves, large areas of land set aside where plants and animals cannot be destroyed or harmed, as well as some suggestions for how they can help insects. The activity shows children how to start a scrapbook by taking photos of insects and printing anecdotes beneath the pictures. Given the age of the book's intended audience, this activity is unlikely to be tried.

     If purchasers are looking for a very basic introduction to insects, then these books are worthy of purchase. If, however, they want more detailed information, they will have to look elsewhere.


Recommended.

Gail Hamilton is a teacher-librarian in Winnipeg, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.
 

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