Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Bug Detective: Amazing facts, myths, and quirks of nature by Maggie Li

One summer, my best friend and I went through a bug phase.  We were fascinated by all kinds of outdoor bugs.  We even did a science fair project on them once.  And while my interest in bugs isn't quite as strong as it once was, it is still not surprising that when I saw Bug Detective sitting on the library shelf, I knew I had to check it out.

Whether a young reader prefers butterflies, ants, spiders, beetles, or just likes them all, they are sure to learning about the 11 different kinds of flying and creeping crawlies found in Bug Detective fascinating.  

Each insect is presented in a two page spread that is packed with snippets of interesting information. This includes each bug's mission in life, as well as their life cycle, what they eat, where they live and who their natural enemy is.  And there is one other feature that is really helpful - the myth buster.  For example, on the page about stick insects, kids will learn that the preying mantis, which looks like it should be a stick insect, isn't.  It is a mantid and unlike the berry and leaf loving stick insect, the preying mantis likes to any and all insects, meaning the stick insects had better watch out.   

The way each page is laid out gives you the sensation of flying/crawling/creeping just as bugs, worms, and spiders do in real life.  And the little magnifying glass that comes with the book will has your young learners really going in for a closer look, and if they become real bug enthusiasts as my young neighbor has since reading this book, it won't be long before they will want a real magnifying glass and a trip to the nearest park.

At the end of the book, there are several Bug Detective Activities.  Kids can go on a bug hunt, make a bee hotel, make a caterpillar house and work on several other projects.  There is also a Bug Identification Guide for understanding what's what and who's who in the bug world.  And there is a nice Glossary on the last page for looking up unfamiliar terms.

Bug Detective is a picture book for older readers that is intended to introduce readers to the insect world and really provides just the basic facts, but it is enough to excite an interest in the world of nature and, hopefully, kids will want to go on to learn more.

Maggie Li does make it a point the remind readers just how important the insect world is for keeping nature in balance and how dangerous it can be if they begin to die off, as the bees have been doing.

I really liked this book once I got the hang of its particularly energetic layout and I think that kids will like it as well.

This book is recommended for readers age 6+
This book was borrowed from the NYPL

This is book 7 of my 2015 Nonfiction Picture Book Reading Challenge hosted by Kid Lit Frenzy


  1. This looks really good, Alex. Thanks for sharing one of the pages which must make it even more interesting.

  2. Thanks for telling us about this book. The way the pages are organized makes it a good book to use as a mentor text for writing workshop.

  3. Love the layout! Thanks for sharing, Alex.


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