Gr 2-4- In each of these general introductions, a full-page, sharp, color close-up of one or more of the featured insects appears opposite a page of large-print text. Many of the photos, particularly in Ants and Bees , are so highly magnified that antennae segments, hairs, grains of pollen, etc., are clearly visible; a microphotograph of a representative insect's head and/or mouthparts is also included in each title. The texts, bland by comparison, briefly describe major body parts, behavior, habitats, life cycles, diet, and natural enemies. Picture captions offer additional facts. While clearly written for the most part, all three volumes are marred by oversimplification and an imprecise choice of words. For instance, Ants refers to the insect's palps as "...four tiny sticks near its mouth"-a bizarre description of mouthparts. Ants and Butterflies describe larvae as "worms" (in Butterflies they are "...small worms called caterpillars"), but this is misleading as actual worms belong to completely different phyla. The glossary definition of insects, repeated in each title, is also misleading; "small animals that often have six legs and wings" implies that the number of legs varies. Ting Morris's Ant and Butterfly (both Smart Apple Media, 2004) and Joyce Milton's Honeybees (Grosset & Dunlap, 2003) cover similar material in more detail. Although they lack the photographic close-ups found in Slade's books, they provide a clearer picture of insect life.-Karey Wehner, formerly at San Francisco Public LibraryCopyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
School Library Journal - School Library JournalGr 7-10-Though the reading level and layout in these books may be suitable for a younger audience, the content and concepts are definitely suited for older students. Confusing terms and fairly detailed political explanations may baffle less sophisticated readers. Though each volume has a glossary, not all terms are covered. The photographs and descriptions can be quite graphic and bloody, as well as occasionally unrelated to the text. The writing, though ebullient and not always objective, is involving. The references to additional resources at the end of each title will be useful for follow-up information. Only ETA includes a map, but it is narrow in its scope and has the colors reversed for French and Spanish administration. In Red Army, Kuala Lumpur is repeatedly misspelled. All of the indexes need see references. Despite the flaws, these works might help address a need for material on these contemporary topics.-Paul J. Bisnette, Silas Bronson Library, Waterbury, CT Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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