One out of every four creatures on the planet is a beetle. This means that at some point, probably many points, your kids are going to bump into them. When this happens, the beetles are likely going to extract one out of two reactions, an “ewwww” or a “cool!”
Beetles are such curious things, unavoidable too, so why not give your kids a little bit more info on what they’re seeing when they find one? Whether or not you child is one that says “eww” or “cool” The Beetle Book by Steve Jenkins is bound to interest them. Let’s be honest, what kid doesn’t find the dung beetle at least a little bit intriguing?
Beetles Here, Beetles There, Beetles Everywhere…
If you have a budding Coleopterist in the family, The Beetle Book is a no brainer purchase. The pages are filled with a wide array of the beetle fauna on the planet. Life sized illustrations give accurate and interesting perspectives, magnified illustrations show us a little more detail, and besides each beetle is a chunk of small but neat text with a little bit of an explanation of each bug. The pages each have a header that gives a clue as to what that page is going to be about. For example it starts with pages labeled “What is a Beetle?” which goes onto explain what they are, and the parts of one. Then there’s a page called “Beetle senses” which talks about the ways different beetles experience their environment i.e. “The whirligig beetle skims along the surface of ponds and rivers. They have four eyes-two to look above the water and two to look below the surface.”
There are pages about battling beetles, the stages of growth, plant eaters, hunters…get the picture? It has everything a kid interested in bugs would love.Now when you open this book, it looks tedious. The plethora of text, the semi in depth explanations…will a kid really like it? As a kid who loved bugs and had every book on insects there was (I even a pet tarantula) I can say that if your child has an interest in beetles or bugs, they’re probably going to find this book interesting. It’s for a slightly older audience, as it could be a dry read aloud, but kids reading on their own will be spitting out facts about beetles left and right before you know it.
What If My Kids Don’t Like Bugs?
Ok if your kids hate bugs, this might not seem like the best book to get. However, sometimes things like The Beetle Book can open up their minds a little bit when they start to find out all the crazy cool things beetles can do. If they’re scared of bugs well…I used to have a severe phobia of thunder storms and tornados. I would high tail it to the basement and hide shivering under a quilt during the whole thing. My dad bought me some kids’ books on storms eventually, with the idea in mind that the more you know about something, the less you might fear it. It’s just a thought, but The Beetle Book could be an eye opener to those less bug-savvy kids.
Torn and cut paper collage make up the illustrations in this book. They’re bright, detailed (but not grossly detailed) and enlightening. All the perspectives and different sizes of the beetles make the illustrations eye catching and interesting. These are not standard plain boring pictures of bugs-they’re fascinating depictions of one of the most prevalent species on our planet.