Amy S. Hansen
Chirp, Chirp!: Crickets in Your Backyardby Nancy Loewen, Rick Peterson
Describes the physical characteristics, life cycle, and behavior of crickets. Includes anatomy diagram and activity.
Children's LiteratureLoewen and Peterson do a great job of introducing a love of entomology to a young reader. Part of the "Backyard Bugs" series, this title has an early reader vocabulary, a picture-book layout (large spread format) and a series of topics listed in the table of contents, like a chapter book. The topics, which take two to six pages, include "Evening Singers," "The Cricket's Body," "Waiting to Hatch," "Eating and Growing" and six others. Short sidebars are printed on a picture of a collection jar. These sidebars contain fun pullout facts such as "Crickets hear with special body parts on their front legs. They breathe through tiny holes in their abdomens." The book and publisher should also be praised for the "To Learn More" section, where they introduce Facthound.com, an internal search engine. Readers log onto Facthound, type a question and Facthound searches approved websitesnot the entire World Wide Web. By keeping the website at the publisher, the publisher can continue to vet Web sites so that young readers do not accidentally link to inappropriate sites. Other back matter includes: "Fun Facts," "Keeping Crickets," a glossary, and an index. 2006, Picture Window Books, Ages 4 to 8.
Amy S. Hansen
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