Children's Literature - Carrie Hane HungRotting vegetation scraps are the home and setting for these invertebrates. In this installment of the "Where to Find Minibeasts" series, readers learn what small creatures live and thrive in a compost heap. Find out what compost heaps are and how they work. Discover how the small inhabitants help with the recycling process. There are several, captioned, color photographs with measurement scales of the relative size of the creatures. Beetles, worms, flies, and more are introduced and are found in the illustrated identification guide that may be handy when carrying out the observation activity described in the book. Young researchers may consider checking the index of the other books in the series to learn more about particular invertebrates. For instance, information about worms is in this book and in two of the other titles in the series. Two Web sites are listed for further exploration and activities. Some guidance may be needed to understand the layout and informational text features of the book. Reviewer: Carrie Hane Hung
School Library JournalGr 3-5–In this series, a minibeast is defined as an invertebrate—usually an insect, but not always. Approximately 20 animals are described in each title, with information on life cycles, diet, habitats, and survival. The description of each animal includes a depiction of its true size, since the colorful, interestingly captioned photos often show the minibeasts greatly magnified. Sidebars offer interesting facts about each one, and the books also describe activities that can be done in each type of habitat that will encourage young scientists’ observational skills. A closing identification guide gives information, in the form of a chart, about the animals profiled in the book and other invertebrates that may be found in the same habitat. There is some repetition found across some of the books, particularly in Compost Heap, Soil, and Stone. All three of these titles include information on slugs, snails, and centipedes. However, this series will work both for assignments and for budding invertebrate zoologists.
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