From School Library Journal
Gr 5-8–From the world's longest insect, the 14-inch-long Chan's megastick (requiring a foldout page to display its extended slimness) to the 7 1/4-inch wingspan of a giant helicopter damselfly, this compendium is a veritable Guiness Book of Buggy Bigness. The critters skitter across facing pages, complete with global distribution maps and quick lines of data (length, wingspan, etc.), and locations. Color photos of spindly legs, slender antennas, camouflaged bodies, and decorative wings abound. While this is a book about “big,” the text is serious about the subject. Beccaloni treats it scientifically, avoiding any sensationalism that casual browsers may be seeking. His careful introduction explains the inclusion of creatures that aren't truly bugs, such as the giant vinegaroon and the Goliath bird-eating spider. Several pages of further information, a list of (adult) references, and an index are appended. A solid resource for lovers of the creepy-crawlies.–Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Drawing on children’s innate fascination with creepy crawlies and the success of Steve Jenkins’ Actual Size (2004), this book presents 35 of the world’s biggest, longest, and heaviest bugs, from beetles, grasshoppers, and butterflies to praying mantises, spiders, and millipedes and even the lesser-known vinegaroon (an arachnid that resembles a scorpion) and solifugid (an arachnid that resembles a spider). Double-page spreads feature each bug’s statistics, a map with its area of distribution, and straightforward text that explains its living conditions, eating habits, and life cycle as well as the difficulty of capturing some of these elusive creatures. The highlights, of course, are the numerous life-size and up-close full-color photographs of the bugs set against both white backgrounds and in their natural environments. The photograph of a Chan’s megastick, the world’s longest insect, requires a foldout page. Further information and a list of references conclude this high-interest title. Although the text can be challenging and no glossary is offered, the visual appeal alone will entice even the most reluctant readers. Grades 3-7. --Angela Leeper