FICTION
The Big Book of Bugs
illus. by Yuval Zommer. 64p. index. Thames & Hudson. Apr. 2016. Tr $19.95. ISBN 9780500650677.
COPY ISBN
Gr 2–4—Whimsically illustrated bugs with big eyes crawl, fly, dig, and swoop across the pages in great detail. The endpapers feature departing bees, and the title page challenges readers to find a blue fly 15 times. Beginning with a simple definition of what makes a bug a bug ("a particular kind of insect with sharp mouthparts to stab and suck up food"), the work goes on to use bold heading questions to introduce a relevant concept or quality (the question "Are all bugs the same?" prompts a look at the physical characteristics of snails, spiders, centipedes and millipedes, and worms). In most sections, kids are asked to spot a certain bug—encouraging them to develop their concentration skills. A "Did You Find" section provides the answers to the previous searches. There is a "Bug Words" page that defines specific terms in short sentences (for instance, "A bug smells and feels with feelers called antennae"). It should be taken into consideration that the book has a large trim size, which might make shelving difficult.
VERDICT Reminiscent of Scholastic's "I Spy" series, this is an interactive book that will engage and entertain readers while they learn a few basic bug facts.

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