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20 Fun Facts About Praying Mantises (Fun Fact File) Paperback – January, 2013
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From School Library Journal
Gr 3-5-One or two sentences per page, in large, eye-catching red print, offer salient facts about the featured insects, usually involving an unusual physical or behavioral characteristic. Each numbered statement is followed by a short paragraph with more detail. For instance, Dragonflies states that "A dragonfly could keep up with a moving car on a city street," and then explains that some species can reach speeds of 35 miles per hour. Praying Mantises states that, "Female praying mantises sometimes eat the head of their mate," and then offers possible reasons for this behavior. Other entries briefly describe: key body parts, senses, defense mechanisms, hunting and/or feeding methods, diets, life cycles, etc. The texts are set against pastel backgrounds resembling file folders and are illustrated on almost every page with one or two clear color photographs. Captions, mounted on yellow backgrounds mimicking sticky notes, provide additional information. Each book also includes a chart, graph, or diagram with facts on related species, prey, or life cycles. All four titles are succinctly written and straightforward, with the minor exception of a silly, anthropomorphic comment in Stick Bugs regarding parthenogenesis, i.e., "Female stick bugs might be some of the most independent women on the planet." General introductions to these insects are available with more detailed information, but the assorted odd facts offered here are easily accessible and will appeal to browsers.-Karey Wehner, formerly at San Francisco Public Libraryα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Just like the publisher’s Fun Fact File: Fierce Fish! series, the Fun Fact File: Bugs! series presents a basic bulleted list of facts, about one fact per page, beefed up by a few sentences of information, engaging captions, and bright photographs. Naturally, the basics are covered, including anatomy, eating habits, and offspring, but with 20 slots to fill, there’s plenty of room for delightfully random esoterica, too. The bugs profiled in Praying Mantises aren’t praying. Rather, these insect cannibals are poised for an attack that takes just 1/20 of a second. So much is covered so quickly and effectively that it’s a surprise that global maps are entirely absent. Regardless, these are ideal launching points for reports for kids who enjoy delivering the shivers. Grades 2-4. --Daniel Kraus --This text refers to the Library Binding edition.