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Busy Builders Hardcover – April 1, 2012

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: 1st - 3rd
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Two Lions (April 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761461051
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761461050
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 11.1 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,912,334 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 3–6—Complex structures built by eight insects and one arachnid are featured in brief, extravagantly illustrated, enormously enlarged entries. Each creature is introduced on an oversize spread: "This is an Organ-Pipe Mud Dauber. Where does it live?" No clues are provided, but the following spread with a cutaway view of the nest or other construction and a dense paragraph of explanation offers a cursory answer to the question. "The Organ-Pipe Mud Dauber (Trypoxylon politum) is a wasp named for the nest of long, narrow, multicolored tubes made of dried mud and often attached to a wall." Some further description of the insect's behavior or its building method is given, but there's no indication of its actual size, its changing form as it lives and matures in the nest, or its geographical location. The Australian Weaver Ant and the African Termite have names offering clues, but the honeybees and some others do live in more nearby places. Munro uses the four-page guessing-game scheme she used in Hatch (Marshall Cavendish, 2011), which introduces different eggs and the birds hatching from them, but the exaggerated views and sketchy, often-difficult explanations make this title more of an album of curiosities. Large and heavy in the hand, the book has bold views that might attract browsers.—Margaret Bush, May 2012

From Kirkus Reviews

Many-legged home-builders are rendered in remarkable artwork. Eight habitat-building insects plus one spider are introduced. Each receives a close-up two-page look at the animal alone followed by a full-spread painting of the web, hive or mound in which it lives, here accompanied by a description of its hunting, nesting and food-storage habits. For most of the insects, the habitat provides a way to store its eggs and hatch and nurture larvae; the spider uses its web to capture its food. The full-color ink illustrations work well to give a sense of the creature’s body structure as well as of the general look of the hive or nest for each. The individual portraits are terrifically impressive, while the handsome habitat paintings show very well from a slight distance, making this a good choice for reading aloud to a group. Munro includes within each habitat drawing a close-up or cutaway interior look at a piece of the structure. The information presented is clear and unadorned, densely packed in a trim, compact type against the background of the habitat paintings. More information appears on the insect-focused introductory page directly opposite the title-page verso, and a glossary of “Bug Words” along with a brief list of resources is included on the last page. Enticing as an introduction to insects and spiders. (Nonfiction. 4-9) -Kirkus Reviews, March 2012

More About the Author

Roxie Munro has been an artist from the age of six, when she won first prize in a county-wide contest for a painting of a bowl of fruit. She has supported herself all her life on her art, at one point freelancing in Washington DC as a television courtroom artist. Clients included CBS, the Washington Post, and the Associated Press. Fourteen of her paintings have been published as covers of "The New Yorker" magazine.

Roxie is an award-winning author/illustrator of more than 35 books for children, primarily nonfiction. Her books have been translated into French, Italian, Dutch, Chinese, and Japanese. Recent books: "Slithery Snakes"; "Hatch!"; "EcoMazes: 12 Earth Adventures"; "Desert Days, Desert Nights"; "Inside-Outside Dinosaurs"; and "Busy Builders".

"Roxie's a-MAZE-ing Vacation Adventure" and "Roxie's Puzzle Adventure" are interactive animated maze game apps; "Roxie's Doors" is a 3-D animated book app (OCG Studios, developer). Roxie also did all the art for the new product KIWiSTORYBOOKS (Kids Interactive Walk-in Story Books).

She creates oils, watercolors, prints, and drawings, primarily cityscapes, which are exhibited widely in the US in galleries and museums. Roxie's work is in numerous private, public, and corporate collections.

Roxie Munro studied at the University of Maryland, the Maryland Institute College of Art (Baltimore), received a BFA in Painting from the University of Hawaii, attended graduate school at Ohio University (Athens), and received a Yaddo Fellowship. She lectures in museums, schools, conventions, and teaches watercolor on ships, workshops, and in the Paint in Italy program.

Many of her paintings are views from the roof of her sky-lighted loft studio in Long Island City, just across the East River from her home in mid-Manhattan. Roxie is married to the Swedish writer/photographer, Bo Zaunders.

Check out her website at www.roxiemunro.com

Customer Reviews

My mom said, "Oh, I thought it was just me."
Both my 6 and 8 year olds love this book, but I read it to them more than them reading by themselves.
Very colorful and bright pictures immediately captured their attention.
Adebisi A. Ilori

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Spudman TOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I have to admit that the cover hooked me at first sight. It's big, bold, and even a little creepy with that giant-eyed ant that looks as big as a cat. It may be a matter of taste, but I was entranced by the big, two-page spreads of those magnified creepy crawlers with intimate details one could never see or notice in a life size depiction.

Each insect is introducted with a colossal graphic and the question "Where does it live?" Turn the page to see a full page illustration of the insect's home and a full paragraph describing the home and including details about the insect's behavior and activities. Readers are even treated to the Latin names for the featured creatures - apis mellifera are honey bees.

Despite the designation of this book for ages 6 and up, most six-year-olds will be able to do little more than look at the pictures and perhaps identify some of the insects. Third to fifth graders will be able to read and appreciate the text.

On a page before the big show, a page next to the title/credit page, the author explains the premise of the book and poses the question, " Can you guess what kind of home each creature will build?" I think this question should be positioned more prominently and in a much larger font.
Including a few details about each insect before revealing information about the homes would allow the reader to engage in some thinking and predicting exercises.

Kids fascinated by nature will probably enjoy this book quite a bit.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. Chambers HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on December 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Having practiced as a civil engineer for forty years, "Busy Builders" had an obvious attraction for me, but officially, I was checking it out as possible reading material for the horde of young nieces and nephews who descend on my wife and me on weekends for free babysitting. I enjoyed the book very much, and I think they will too. Recommended by the publisher for ages six and up, it's a nice introduction to the insect (and one spider) world.

The large colorful drawings complement the text very nicely. The drawings are anatomically correct as nearly as I could tell. The text is too advanced for a six-year-old to read, but an older child, say eight or nine, should be able to read the book by themselves. In any case, it's a great book for parents to read to their kids. Like any good educational children's book, it gives the kids some knowledge about the subject, but raises other questions for them to ponder and ask about.

Busy Builders is an impressive-looking book. At 11" x 11", it's the size of a typical "coffee-table" book. The book begins with a brief introduction to insects. Honestly, I learned a lot from the book, including the fact that there are a billion insects for every human being. There are a lot of other Fun Facts that both parents and kids will enjoy learning. The book then gets into the "busy builders" theme, with descriptions of eight insects and one spider:

* Honey Bee
* Red Harvester Ant
* Organ-Pipe Mud Dauber
* Garden Orb Spider
* Australian Weaver Ant
* Leaf Cutter Bee
* Pine Processionary Caterpillar
* African Termite
* Paper Hornet

For each of the insects (and the spider), the text and drawings describe the life of the animal, with the emphasis on its habitat.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Debra Brinkman VINE VOICE on January 10, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
My mom has a master's degree in entomology. My uncle is a retired entomology professor. So when it comes to children's books about insects (or in this case, about mostly insects and one spider), I tend to find problems that probably wouldn't bother most people. Cute pictures of bugs that have too many body segments, too many legs, inaccurate descriptions, etc.

This one I will keep on my shelf.

The illustrations are huge, and all seem really accurate. Not that I've ever seen a Pine Processionary Caterpillar, but the proportions sure seem right.

The publisher recommends this for ages 6 and up. I'm sure most 6 year olds wouldn't be reading this on their own, but my 6 year old daughter was certainly fascinated to hear me read it to her. I loved the abundance of facts and correct vocabulary. The text is not 'dumbed down' at all. In one of the early sections, it is mentioned that the Organ-Pipe Mud Dauber takes a mud ball and "molds into place with her mandibles (jaws)"

Further into the book, another insect (the Australian Weaver Ant) uses its mandibles in pulling leaves together. Mandibles aren't defined the second time. I checked with my 6 and 8 year old the first time we read the book, and they looked at me like I was crazy for asking what mandibles are. "Their jaws, Mom."

Finally, a bug book I can let my mother read to my children.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sharon Isch TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 2, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I enjoy choosing gift books for the kids in my life, even though I don't have any of my own. I also like to keep a stash at my house for young visitors and tend to be pretty confident about my choices. But this one I just wasn't sure about. It's a collection of colorful, imaginative drawings of bugs...eight of them, each artful portrait stretching across two ll-inch wide pages, which has to be a magnification of at least 20 times the real bug's actual size. Each two-page bug drawing is then followed by an even more colorful two-page show-and-tell spread of text and art dedicated to how and where that particular critter and its kind live.

The book is suggested as being for ages 6 and up. I wasn't too sure about that...especially the text...so I consulted someone I trust implicitly, Elian Woodward who's 8 and has a sister, Gabriela, who's about to turn 6. Elian read it cover to cover, gave it his top rating and assures me that at least seven of the eight builder bugs and their portrayals are indeed well within the grasp of the 6-and-up set. (One he's not quite sure about--I forget which.) So...there you have it.
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