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Exploding Ants: Amazing Facts About How Animals Adapt Hardcover – April 1, 1999

5 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 4-8-The subtitle for this book modestly describes what Settel delivers with panache. Among the creatures described are swallowtail butterflies (with slimy larvae), predatory fireflies, murderous cuckoos, parasitoid wasps, regurgitating birds, and a few bloodsuckers (ticks, lice, bats, and lampreys). Chapter headings such as "Dog Mucus and Other Tasty Treats," and lovely lurid prose describing the brainwashing behavior of fluke parasites will definitely hook the book's intended prey. Vivid comparisons make the astounding facts comprehensible to young readers: "Some ticks take in so much blood, they swell to nearly four times their normal size. That's like an adult human expanding to the height of a two-story building!" The format differs from that in Theresa Greenaway's Really Fearsome Blood-loving Vampire Bats (1996) and the rest of "The Really Horrible Guides" (all DK) due to its emphasis on text over illustration, but the small, full-color photos are clear. A useful glossary defines the italicized scientific terms sprinkled throughout the text. This offering is another strike against the undeserved reputation of science books as dry, dusty tomes of little interest to children.
Marilyn Payne Phillips, University City Public Library, MO
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Not just another gross-out book of animal oddities, this attractive volume presents its material as wondrous science instead of sensational effect. The chapter heads are a bit over the top--" Murderous Nest Mates," "Gulping Eyeballs," and so forth; but, of course, kids will love them. They'll also like the variety of unusual creatures Settel introduces in straightforward terms--whether it's the nefarious cuckoo that insinuates its young into another bird's nest or an African frog that drops its eyeballs into its mouth. Most scientific terms are explained quite clearly in the text, and a glossary is appended. Color photos, sometimes a bit too small, show each animal. The selected readings are mostly adult titles. Some children's titles would have been a good addition, as this is one of those books kids won't want to end. Stephanie Zvirin
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 7 - 10 years
  • Grade Level: 4 - 6
  • Lexile Measure: 1020L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers; 1st edition (April 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689817398
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689817397
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 0.4 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #514,227 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I wasn't sure what to expect with this title. Maybe a book about gross animals? It is that and a lot more, with discussions of blood suckers, worms that feed on dog mucus, brain-washing parasites and other topics kids love to read about. But the author has also packed it full of real science. "Exploding Ants" helps young readers put what seem like bizarre behaviors into context and understand that almost anything in nature can provide food or shelter for some animal species. Buy this for the kids in your life. They will love it.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Perfect non-fiction book for my class.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Book was in excellent condition.
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