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Saturday, June 29, 2013

Dragonflies, written by Chris Earley with Rhiannon Lohr, Cameron Lohr and Nathan Earley. Firefly Books, 2013. $6.95 ages 6 amd up

"Dragonflies are predators that eat other insects. Many dragonflies catch most of their food in the air. Some sit on a perch and then fly out and attack their prey. Some kinds of dragonflies eat butterflies and even other dragonflies. Dragonflies are predators, but they are also prey."

The subtitle for this book is 'catching* identifying* how and where they live'. The author and his intent and intrepid helpers make sure that readers learn what they have to teach about these beautiful insects and their apparent vulnerabilities. In fact, they are resilient and not nearly as delicate as they seem.

He begins by describing the dragonfly itself, using close-up photographs and clear captions to help his audience become more familiar with their attributes, what they tell us and where we might find them. The life cycle is clearly laid out, and photographed at each stage. Their food, how we can catch and hold them, and identification follows.

Families that are commonly seen are described, and some suggestions are given to help these stunning, flitting creatures. Finally, he provides a mini field guide to help in identification of species. The photographs are of excellent quality...I cannot imagine a better way to find out the names of those that might be spotted.

A list of books for further reading is provided, as well as an index.

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