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The Beetle Book Hardcover – April 3, 2012
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"Jenkins' splendid array of beetles will surely produce at least one budding coleopterist...distinguished both as natural history and work of art"--Kirkus, starred review
"Jenkins brings his signature style to the world of beetles...As always, the design of the book is exemplary."--Horn Book
"A richly varied and visually riveting introduction to beetles, both familiar and strange."--Booklist, starred review
"Jenkins's enthusiasm for his subject shines through in this rich and varied compendium."--School Library Journal, starred review
"Jenkins offers a wealth of information about beetles and presents it impeccably."--Publishers Weekly, starred review
"The combination of sophisticated look and highly visual approach makes this accessible to a wide audience, and this is one that'll certainly be picked up immediately if left strategically on a library table."--Bulletin
Top Customer Reviews
Bright and colorful, Steve Jenkins has pulled together a great science book that gives all sorts of facts about beetles in a manner that's entertaining, and not overwhelming.
Jenkins uses illustrations in this book instead of photos. And most of the images of the huge variety of beetles that he introduces the reader to, are double in size.
Jenkins displays the various shapes and colors that beetles can have.
He also talks about their numbers, their body parts, their many abilities --like waging chemical warfare-- and facts about their senses, mating habits and more.
Truly there's a great deal of easily digested information in this book.
Overall I really like it. It's great edu-tainment and would be good for a classroom situation because the drawing are large.
Those that are looking for photos will have to look elsewhere. And I actually understand why Jenkins didn't go that route. There are so many beetles that in fact, seeing many of them 'in a photo', doesn't really help identify them. And as the book stands now, the artwork is exceedingly attractive and keeps the reader turning pages to see what's next.
The biggest drawback in my mind, is that the book is written at nearly the 6th grade level.
The book arrived in great condition.
I will admit I was a little put off when I first opened the book and saw how small the font size is, but I quickly got used to it and realized that its size means the text doesn't compete with the illustrations. Beetle names are in boldface in the text, which is helpful. Another nice touch is that the author-illustrator gives us many of the beetles in black silhouette to show their actual sizes.
Jenkins lets the stark white backgrounds set off the beetles' strong colors and shapes, taking full advantage of negative space and the beetles' symmetry to create graphic art-influenced illustrations. Many of the beetles are static, portrait-style, but some are shown in action, most notably two rhinoceros beetles dueling to win a mate. The illustrations are all the more breathtaking when you realize that they were done entirely using "torn- and cut-paper collage." Jenkins has joined the rarified ranks of Eric Carle and Lois Ehlert in his use of the technique.
The science content may remind you of an Eyewitness book. The Beetle Book is filled with fun facts. For example, have you ever heard of the forest fire beetle? "[It] has special heat-sensing spots on its body. It can detect a fire from more than 20 miles (32 kilometers) away. These beetles fly to the site of the forest fire and lay their eggs in charred wood--wood that is now free of predators." I thought he was going to say the beetles sensed the fire and flew away from it, but instead the beetles fly to the fire!Read more ›
Steve Jenkins does not talk down to children, nor does he speak up to adults. He writes in a forthright, intelligent and simple manner that should appeal to all ages, I would say beginning from the age of four (I cannot put an age cap on this book since it can be equally enjoyed by all). It's an interesting size - not too large and not too small (my measurements are circa 10-1/4" by 10-1/4").
I got curious about beetles when I saw one in my kitchen. I've always taken them for granted as disposable (I don't like to kill lone insects so I usually find a way to transport them outdoors). But this time I said "Wait! What is the story of this beetle? What it is really like? What is the history of the species?" And that's what led me to read this book. After reading it, I have a tremendous respect for a beetle when I see one. Truly amazing facts are presented. For instance, there are more than 350,000 kinds of beetles that have been named. Many more are discovered each year.
Some topics covered are the construction of the beetle, their senses, their habits, even how they grow up. What do they eat? It depends on the type of beetle. Some are plant eaters, some carry on their backs and eat dung, cleaning up the world's grasslands to provide food for their families. There are beetles that live off fungi; some are hunters and scavengers.
These facts don't even begin to cover the abundance of astounding information provided.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Love this book! The illustrations are amazing! We use this book in my classroom and it is always a favorite!Published 3 months ago by Tracey Graham
This is a work worthy of the old Naturalist history. It is gorgeous and I love it but it is archaic in its focus on information.Published 16 months ago by Mom with Ph.D.
Pictures are very stunning. But text are the best of this book. We (me and my 6 y twin love every details about beetle in this book, very interesting. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Sopana T.
My daughter loves bugs. After checking this book out from the library a few times, I decided she just needed her own copy.Published 23 months ago by Pamela
My 5-year-old LOVES this book. He LOVES the artwork and all of the information about the beetles. We totally recommend this book if you have a little one interested in nature.Published 23 months ago by C. Ott
Nephew loved it and I thought it was well designed the art work was excellent.Published 24 months ago by Carlos Flores