Creep and Flutter: The Secret World of Insects and Spiders


In his fourth stunning nonfiction picture book for Sterling Children's Books, acclaimed naturalist and illustrator Jim Arnosky brings out the beauty--and the “wow!” and the “yuck!” factors--of hundreds of insects and spiders. Eight spectacular gatefolds show moths and mosquitoes, butterflies and beetles, spiders and silverfish life-size, up-close, and personal!
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In his fourth stunning nonfiction picture book for Sterling Children's Books, acclaimed naturalist and illustrator Jim Arnosky brings out the beauty--and the “wow!” and the “yuck!” factors--of hundreds of insects and spiders. Eight spectacular gatefolds show moths and mosquitoes, butterflies and beetles, spiders and silverfish life-size, up-close, and personal!
A CCBC Choice 2013, the annual best-of-the-year list of the Cooperative Children's Book Center.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Combining larger-than-life illustrations and thoughtful field notes, Arnosky takes readers on a tour of insect life. Foldout spreads display mayflies, dragonflies, beetles, butterflies, moths, and more, with each insect vividly described.... As with his other nature-themed books, Arnosky brings a personal and improvisational feeling to his work, including pencil sketches and writing that shares his own experiences.... Arnosky's inquisitive spirit and gentle prose will likely move readers to take his cue to 'be mindful of the small.'”—Publishers Weekly (*Starred review)


Praise for Wild Tracks:
A 2009 ALA Notable Book
“A splendid example of Arnosky's skill at making natural history come alive for young readers.”--Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Arnosky's infectious enthusiasm for nature is evident...Worthy...for its inviting format and its promising premise that kids can find tracks, interpret them, and have a great time outdoors.”--School Library Journal, starred review

“A terrific beginning field guide...the uniformly lovely illustrations and the compelling concept make this a book that young naturalists will enjoy year-round.”--Booklist
Praise for Slither and Crawl:
A 2009 Parents' Choice List of Recommended Titles

"Arnosky's painterly eye and personal observations match handsomely in this face-to-face experience…. handsome, informative."--School Library Journal  (starred review)

“…beautiful and very detailed illustrations--Arnosky's love of nature is contagious." --Library Media Connection

School Library Journal
Gr 3–5—Seven sections focus on particular groups of arthropods (predominately insects) that are either members of the same order or share similar characteristics (e.g., beetles and true bugs; butterflies and moths; bees, wasps, ants, and flies). In each one, a page of text alternates with a vivid acrylic painting of one or more of the invertebrates; most open with an anecdote describing the author's encounter with, or observation of, the creatures, followed by a brief description of key characteristics. The margins are illustrated with pencil sketches. A special feature of most sections is that one, or both, of the facing pages can be lifted up and folded out to reveal about a dozen meticulously detailed paintings of species selected for their beauty and variety. Short blocks of text provide additional information on their physical and/or behavioral characteristics, diet, life cycles, etc., while accompanying silhouettes indicate actual size. Although the large illustrations are beautiful and the text is clearly written, organization of material is erratic and some important facts are omitted. Basic insect anatomy is only described in the last section, when it is compared to that of spiders; spiders' use of webs to snare prey is described, but the text doesn't explain that not all species are web-builders. The lack of an index is a definite handicap. Arnosky's title has strong visual appeal, but Judy Burris and Wayne Richards's The Secret Lives of Backyard Bugs (Storey, 2011) is a more thorough, better organized introduction to insects and spiders.—Karey Wehner, formerly at San Francisco Public Library
Kirkus Reviews
Larger-than–life-size paintings, intricate drawings and a chatty, informative text combine to introduce the world of insects and spiders, "the largest biomass on Earth." Displaying his own boundless sense of wonder, Arnosky draws on personal experiences to attract his audience, describing a mayfly hatch in a trout-filled pond, a lady beetle that crashed near his woodstove, a yellow-striped grasshopper seen in the Everglades and more. The naturalist covers an astonishing variety--mayflies and dragonflies, beetles and bugs, caterpillars, moths and butterflies, grasshoppers and their relatives, bees, wasps, ants, flies and spiders. The information he provides is necessarily limited, but he's chosen facts likely to appeal. Short chapters are organized into familiar groups and separated by six fold-out pages (two are gate-folds) full of examples. Gorgeous, carefully crafted paintings show tiny details and often include a creature's habitat. The magnification is usually given, and silhouettes show actual size. Labeled pencil drawings add further detail and make comparisons. Although the author differentiates between a cocoon and a chrysalis, he does not clarify that calling the latter a cocoon as well is erroneous. He includes solid suggestions for further reading. A table of contents makes the organization clear, but an index would have been helpful. This is another splendid invitation to children to explore the natural world. (Informational picture book. 6-10)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781402777660
  • Publisher: Sterling Children's Books
  • Publication date: 4/3/2012
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 637,796
  • Age range: 6 - 10 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.20 (w) x 11.60 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Jim Arnosky
Jim Arnosky is the author/illustrator of more than 100 books, and received the first lifetime achievement award for Excellence in Science Illustration from the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Washington Post/Children's Book Guild Award for nonfiction. Many of his books are ALA Notable Books, including Christopher Award-winner Drawing from Nature, and Jim has earned many starred reviews, including two for Wild Tracks. Jim lives in Vermont, but travels all over the U.S. for school and library visits. Visit to learn more.
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