Encyclopedia of Insects

Quarto/Wide Eyed Editions. Jun. 2020. 160p. Tr $22.99. ISBN 9780711249158.
Gr 4-6–Zoologist Howard and science illustrator Zimmerman have merged their areas of expertise to offer information about 300 of the world’s millions of insect species. Following an introduction from Howard, a section on insects in trouble, and a description of what an insect is, the book then proceeds to detail various insects. Chapters are organized by species, beginning with ephemeroptera (mayflies). Each insect is labeled with its English and Latin names. After a brief but descriptive paragraph, the insect’s body length, diet, and habitat are provided. Each bug is drawn true to color and is finely detailed. There are two insects per page. Howard’s writing is concise and approachable. Siphonaptera (fleas) conclude the main part of the text. A follow-up section asks, “Am I an insect?”, and explains that centipedes, spiders, woodlice, snails, and slugs are not insects. The text is not alphabetically arranged, so the extensive index is a helpful resource.
VERDICT This well-crafted, eye-opening insect compendium is perfect for beginning researchers, browsers, and nature enthusiasts. A fine complement to the 595.7s.

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