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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Insect Detective, written by Steve Voake and illustrated by Charlotte Voake. Candlewick, Random House. 2009. $21.00 ages 4 and up

"Right now, all around you, thousands of insects are doing strange and wonderful things. But you can't always see them right away. Sometimes you have to know where to look."

In a smaller font that accompanies this page of text, we are regaled with additional information: there are about 200 million insects for every single person! Yuk and double yuk!!

The author encourages his readers to listen to the world around them and they might hear wasps scraping a post to collect wood. What do you think that wood will be used for? Yes, after mixing it in her mouth and making a soft pulp, it will be used to help build a nest of paper. I know you have seen such things. Steve Voake tells us about ants, bees, and other insects found, if we just look closely. There is much to know about these creatures. But, not everything we find in cool dark places will be an insect. Remember, an insect has six legs only!

He ends with dragonflies and provides some very interesting 'stuff' about those iridescent hunters. And he entreats us to make our own discoveries by opening a door and stepping outside! He provides clear and easy ideas for becoming a detective on the hunt for the many insects that share our world.

Two different fonts, engaging watercolor art with detailed illustrations that show exactly what the author is describing in print and an sincere invitation to learn more about the world...that makes a great book.

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