Thursday, August 23, 2007

Review: Stink Bugs and Other True Bugs

World Book's Animals of the World. Author: Meish Goldish. World Book, Inc., 2002. We got this one from the library because we have found so many fascinating bugs in the house and garden this summer. This non-fiction series is perfect for preschool and early elementary kids. Large full color photos of up close bugs are balanced with clear, simple, informative text in large type. Each chapter is one page, covering topics such as, "What is a True Bug?", "Where in the World Do True Bugs Live?", and "How is a Stink Bug Put Together?". There is enough factual information to satisfy initial questions and spark discussion with further inquiry, leading readers to want to pursue more research. The chapter titled "How Do Stunk Bugs Defend Themselves?" for example says,
"A stink bug's main weapon of defense is its oder. When in danger, the stink bug releases a stinking liquid from its thorax. A bird or other predator often takes one whiff of the bug's rotten smell and leaves the tiny creature alone!"

We were drawn to this book, as I said, because we see stink bugs in our house and garden. Last fall I was intrigued enough to do an online search to try to identify what was then to us a mysterious bug. I found out that our part of the country is in the midst of an infestation of these critters. We were encouraged to report sitings, as they are being monitored. There is one thing I still find mysterious: although the bugs we see meet every other descriptive criteria, they do not stink. I have crushed hundreds of them in the past two years and I have never noticed an odor of any sort. I wonder why. Here's a photo of one on my buddleia (look on the green leaf in the foreground):

stink bug

Buddy and I enjoyed reading all about stink bugs in this World Book title. The series includes forty titles in four sets, covering animals from all around the world. In addition to teaching about bugs I was able to introduce non-fiction text features such as a table of context, index, glossary, fun facts page, list of further resources including books and web sites, and a scientific classification chart. In my library I often find that non-fiction titles are far more sought after than picture books in grades kindergarten through second grade. Children are thirsty for real knowledge and today's informational texts are creative, attractive and expertly crafted. Series such as this one are ideal for young scientists.


Anonymous said...

Another great pic, and thanks for the book rec.

Anonymous said...

By the way, did I thank you for the Can't Sit Still book rec? We got it from the library after reading about it on your site, and we enjoyed it. Can't remember if I've thanked you.