Tuesday, November 17, 2015
Bite Into Bloodsuckers, by Kari-Lynn Williams and Ishta Mercurio. Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2015. $19.95 ages 10 and up
While we are on the subject of bugs, you might be interested in learning more about those creatures who really do want to 'suck our blood' ... Ha! Ha! Ha! as Count Dracula on Sesame Street taught us to say!
"Most bloodsuckers are parasites that feed on their hosts' blood in order to survive. These bloodthirsty creatures come in many shapes and sizes. Whether they are worm-like leeches, six-legged flying insects, eight-legged arachnids, birds, fish, or small mammals, they have one thing in common: they practise bloodsucking, which is also known as hematophagy ... "
There is a lot of information here for those readers who have an interest in these vampires, and their many sizes, shapes and species. They can be extremely irritating, as well as actually responsible for death in some cases. They bore into your skin, or the skin of beloved pets, and other animals. They drink blood and they are know to carry diseases, too. Here's the good and bad news: in order to have healthy and beneficial ecosystems, we need them! They provide untold benefits. So, love or hate them, they are here to stay and we must be thankful that they do a much needed job all around the world. As I have said before, it would take a lot of convincing to make me appreciate that whining
mosquito, but the authors even make a case for appreciation of their place in the world:
"Mosquitoes also help keep our ponds clean because, as larvae, they feed on decaying leaves, organic debris, and microorganisms. So next time you eat a fish dinner, see the bottom of a pond, or have a dragonfly land on your shoulder, you can thank a mosquito - it played a small part in what you are experiencing at some point. In these ways, mosquitoes are part of our ecosystem and benefit humans."
The authors include an index, a glossary, a list for further reading and a website for a full list of the works used in researching this book that will attract readers who love to know more about our world and the creatures in it.
If you want to know why they need blood, where they live and who they are, what their lifecycles look like, why we fear them and how they are dangerous to us, their benefits in the natural and medical worlds, and how to keep yourself protected from their bites, you need to read this book!