Monday, September 21, 2009

Nonfiction Monday: Mosquitoes!

A little collection development exercise today! I'm working on weeding the juvenile nonfiction - so far I've weeded somewhere between 500 and 1,000 items. That's a LOT for a collection as small as ours (five full-length shelves). Why so much? Well, I've been told at least one of the previous directors at our library did not allow weeding. At all. Also, I believe several of the previous children's librarians were part-time and simply did not have time to weed. But, happily, I have an excellent director and I am full-time, so the time has come. I've dumped computer books from the 80s, books in horrible condition, nonfiction from the 50s, and a surprisingly large number of adult nonfiction books. Possibly they were somehow missed when the juvenile and adult nonfiction was separated years ago. Now well into the 500s, I'm looking to see what needs to be replaced - and it looks like we need more mosquito books! We have one outdated and icky book from the 70s and one newer book that's checked out. I looked at my nonfiction catalogs (I'm mainly using Bearport and Scholastic right now) and Bearport had a mosquito book in it's No Backbone! series. Then I checked the library catalog and requested a couple of the newer mosquito books from other libraries.

Bloodthirsty Mosquitoes by Meish Goldish is from the Bearport No Backbone! series. It's obviously intended for a younger audience, probably 5 - 8, with large type, simple text, and plenty of pictures of the mosquito's life cycle. There's a short glossary, index, and further resources in the back. This book is mainly about the mosquito, with only a few brief mentions of how it affects the world and attacks people.

The other mosquito book I found is from the Bloodsuckers series by PowerKids Press; Mosquitoes: Hungry for Blood by Barbara Somervill. This is directed at an older audience, I'd say 8 - 12, and focuses on the mosquito in context. There's a page each on the mosquito's body, breeding habits, and habitats, then the rest of the book discusses how it chooses who to eat from, the creatures that prey on the mosquito, and how it carries diseases and is controlled. There's a good glossary, index, and a link to a regularly updated list of links on the PowerKids website.

Verdict: So, conclusion? I think we need both these books, but I can't buy both! I'll wait for the other mosquito book we have to come back, and see what it's reading level is and how it compares to these and which one we need more - a specific book on the mosquito's life, or a more general book for older kids. I'll also be checking PowerKids Press out to see what other materials they have.

Bloodthirsty mosquitoes
ISBN: 978-1597165853; Published January 2008 by Bearport; Borrowed from the library; Purchased for the library

Mosquitoes: Hungry for blood
ISBN: 978-1404238022; Published August 2007 by PowerKids Press; Borrowed from the library; Purchased for the library

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