Monday, September 27, 2010

Nonfiction Monday: Bug Zoo by Nick Baker

I was delighted to find this DK press book at a neighboring library while I was browsing. I recently bought two gardening/outdoor books from DK, Ready Set Grow and Wildlife Gardening and they're both very popular!

This book focuses specifically on keeping bugs as pets. I have a few books on this subject, but this is the best one I've seen, ever! There's a quick little introduction to the idea of keeping bugs as pets, spreads on the equipment and materials you'll need, and then we plunge right into...the bugs! Each featured bug has a spread of information about the bug, including detailed photographs, identification of species, and where to find them, then the next page has all the instructions you need for capture, housing, and care.

The featured bugs include wood lice (or pillbugs, or roly-polys, as we called them), slugs & snails, aphids, caterpillers, worms, earwigs, ladybugs, spiders, crickets & katydids, pseudoscorpions, mosquito larvae, dragonfly larvae, and backswimmers. I was disappointed not to see mantises, which were a favorite bug pet when I was a kid, but I believe they can be difficult to find and are not as common as the bugs listed here. I was happy to see cockroaches were not listed. I do not like cockroaches. At all.

Like all DK books, every page is packed full of information, photographs, ideas, projects, and illustrations. This particular volume has the fun addition of little word balloons here and there to add a few giggles. There's also a detailed index and a very clear page of contents.

Verdict: Highly recommended! Weed your old bugs-in-a-jar books and buy a couple copies of this excellent volume instead. Perfect for summer messy crafts projects as well as everyday research and bug keeping.

ISBN: 978-0756661663; Published May 2010 by DK; Borrowed from the library; Purchased for the library

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