Sunday, June 17, 2012


You may not be able to see them, but just above the grass, there are many, many lovely beetles hovering. When I walked my dog to the park today, I had no idea we would see hundreds of them.

They completely reminded me of The Beetle Book by Steve Jenkins that I read just last week. I enjoyed all of the beetle trivia he provided. I wonder though, why I love to have a butterfly land on my arm and give me true butterfly kisses, but when a beetle lands on me I have a very negative reaction. What is it about them that creeps me out? I didn't mind the one that landed on my capris, but when one zoomed into my face, I shrieked. When one landed on my arm, that appendage started to flail around wildly almost before I even processed the fact that a beetle was there. Jenkins book was awesome and it definitely was why I stopped to check these guys out in spite of the risk of getting too close to them. Once I got over my heebie-jeebies, it was pretty fascinating to watch them so thank you Steve!

Steve Jenkins' book grabbed my interest from the start. The endpapers of the book are gorgeous with splotches of jewel green, red, and many other colors swirling about. The illustrations are just fantastic all of the way through like his previous books. His collage or cut paper style of creating images gives depth and texture to the illustrations. They are just eye-popping. He included scale information along the way so that the reader can keep everything in perspective even if it is enlarged to see the details. 

There are tons of facts packed into the 32 pages. He includes just the type of information that my students will love to learn like, "the hide beetle eats the dried skin and flesh of dead animals. Natural history museums use these beetles to clean bones for display" from p. 18. There is even a great section about beetle chemical warfare. 

I can't wait to share this one with my students in the fall!

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