Gr 4-6-Just turn over a rock almost anywhere in the world, and you're likely to uncover one or more of the invertebrates examined in these general introductions. Each text briefly describes major physical and behavioral characteristics common to all the subject animals, outstanding characteristics of the main types, habitats, defense mechanisms, and tips for safely observing some of them in the wild. Each title also includes two chapters that focus on two or more animal groups (or, occasionally, species) in more detail. One or two clear, color photographs complement the text on almost every page; many are close-ups of body parts, with labels. Each volume also includes a series of color drawings representing the animals' life cycles. Boxed inserts provide miscellaneous facts. Although the texts are well organized, they do omit some useful information. For instance, they give little data on representative species within the main categories of subject animals. While the captions identify animals depicted as a crab, centipede, sea star, etc., only a few give the common name of the species. However, Blaxland's lucidly written introductions will help fill a gap.-Karey Wehner, formerly at San Francisco Public Library Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.