Children's Literature - Wendy KeenEverything you wanted to know about ladybugs, but were afraid to ask. The book carefully explains everything from the different parts of the ladybug and their function, how ladybugs mate and molt, the place of ladybugs in the food chain, and various elements of "ladybug lore." Particularly intriguing are the suggestions for ladybug observations and related activities. Ross provides instructions for constructing simple "ladybug lodges" but reminds readers to return ladybugs to their homes when they are finished with their observations. Included in the "Backyard Buddies" series are Caterpillarology and Cricketology.
School Library JournalGr 3-5Two series entries that encourage kids to observe and inquire into the lives of some of our most commonly found creatures. Both books provide a great deal of scientific information, as do many other existing works. What makes these titles different is their aim to foster children's natural curiosity and get them to think about the world around them. Each book has a section in which elementary-school children pose questions such as "Do Caterpillars Get Dizzy?" and devise experiments to answer them. Some of the experiments prove to be inconclusive, but they still provide a solid grounding in the scientific method and encourage young readers to think for themselves. The books also provide suggestions of places, such as local nature groups, where children can obtain further information. Also included are instructions for capturing caterpillars and ladybugs for observation and a reminder to release them when the experiments are over. The books are visually appealing with clear texts and detailed drawings. Photos of kids with the insects add to the appeal. The information here is more than adequate for report needs but the books are also great for casual reading, and enterprising students might even find a few interesting science-project ideas. Good (and slightly different) additions to natural history sections.Arwen Marshall, New York Public Library
Kirkus ReviewsLadybugs are the perfect bug for a pet. On the creepiness scale, they are fairly benign; they're easy to identify; they neither sting nor bite; nor do they infest people's domiciles. For this entry in the Backyard Buddies series, Ross (Bug Watching with Charles Henry Turner, 1997, etc.) includes some good facts about ladybugs and their care, defining their scientific names and covering some ladybug lore. Sadly, the information that will intrigue readers is lost in a muddle of mediocre experiments and what reads as filler, e.g., writing down all there is to observe about a ladybug ("it's red") may encourage scientific observation, but it may also strike some as busy work. The full- color photographs are helpful; the illustrations are sometimes informative, and other times clumsily executed cartoons. (glossary, index) (Nonfiction. 7-10)
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