One Million Insects
One Million Insects is a hive of information about the various species of creepy crawlies that outnumber us humans 1.4 billion to one, with exciting little titbits about their sometimes-bizarre habits and life cycles. The chapters are organised into insect orders, introducing children to the scientific methods of classification. The book is full of colourful illustrations that give the insects charm and character, reminiscent of the style of Eric Carle’s classic The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
While the illustrations are beautiful and interesting, they cannot fully distract from the ick factor of chapters like ‘Cockroaches, Termites, and Mantids’, but, and this is most important, kids love reading stuff like that. The grosser the better. So, while not a book that parents will enjoy reading at bedtime, children will relish the gruesome facts, which will be gleefully regurgitated to make adults squirm. Both a squeamish child and one who will lift up rocks to see what’s underneath will happily relate the book’s facts, such as, for example, how Brazil’s titan beetle has jaws that can snap a pencil in half or that ladybirds will eat their brothers and sisters before they can even hatch!
With an increasing focus on biodiversity and the importance of insects in our ecosystem, lots of children will be aware of bug hotels and wildflowers, so this reference book will feed their knowledge and sympathy for these fascinating creatures, and you may have a biologist in the making.