Crawly Critters! Creep and Flutter: The Secret World of Insects and Spiders by Jim Arnosky
Get outside, keep your eyes open, and "be mindful of the small" is notable nature illustrator Jim Arnosky's advice, and his latest stunningly illustrated field guide, Creep and Flutter: The Secret World of Insects and Spiders (Sterling Books, 2012) will make young readers want to do just that.
This illustrated guide to many of North America's insects and spiders, with its accessible and absorbing text and many colorful fold-out pages (and two giant double-page gatefolds (opening to a four-page spread) as well) will provide the motivation and the background for nature study in backyards and local fields, woods, and pond areas. Insects and spiders are shown in large, detailed paintings, some more than life-sized, each with a handy life-size silhouette to keep things in perspective.
Arnosky includes chapters on flies (dragonflies, mayflies, stoneflies, and caddisflies), not skimping on all stages of the metamorphosis for the insect clan from egg, to nymph, to pupae and adult phases. Butterfly illustrations, as gorgeous as their subjects, earn wows, while the eight-legged arachnids (spiders and ticks) and the likewise formidably equipped bee and wasp families will evoke a few yikes! on their own.
Arnosky points out that this group of creatures compose “the largest biomass on Earth,” a staggering thought which will engender respect, if not affection, for nature's creepy crawly critte4rs out there. An indispensable book for elementary and middle school nature study, Arnosky's Creep and Flutter: The Secret World of Insects and Spiders pairs perfectly with Steve Jenkin's also just published The Beetle Book Houghton Mifflin, 2012) (see my recent review here.)
"... Another splendid invitation to children to explore the natural world," reports Kirkus Reviews.
Arnosky's previous notable books in his Sterling series are Slither and Crawl: Eye to Eye with Reptiles, Thunder Birds: Nature's Flying Predators, and Wild Tracks!: A Guide to Nature's Footprints.