Mosquito Bite



The boy listens.
The girl is getting closer.
Suddenly, there's another sound.
A droning buzz.
Something else is looking for the boy.

The seeker is a mosquito, Culex pipiens, and her search is a matter of life and death. She must find food—blood—to nourish the hundreds of tiny ...

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The boy listens.
The girl is getting closer.
Suddenly, there's another sound.
A droning buzz.
Something else is looking for the boy.

The seeker is a mosquito, Culex pipiens, and her search is a matter of life and death. She must find food—blood—to nourish the hundreds of tiny eggs inside her body.

Black-and-white photographs show the children's game of hide-and-seek, while astonishing micrographs show Culex and her world as seen through an electron microscope. Zoom in for a close-up view: A blade of grass looks like a menacing field of spines. A mosquito's eye becomes a bundle of tightly packed tubes.

Discover the life story of a mosquito from a truly larger-than-life point of view.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
What a story behind an annoying, itchy, and possibly dangerous mosquito bite! Children are playing hide-and-seek (shown in black-and-white photographs) as a Culex pipiens mosquito emerges from the stagnant water in a discarded tire, seeking blood to nourish her eggs. When she lands on a boy's neck, he feels nothing, though her cutters are slicing through his skin; only later does he reach to scratch the red, lumpy bite. The really fascinating part of the story lies in the amazingly beautiful photomicrographs taken with a scanning electron microscope, then enlarged and colored to reveal the parts of the mosquito's body in exquisite detail. The mosquito's life cycle, plankton, and some human bits are displayed in brilliant blues, purples, pinks, and olives against darker pages, forming their own scientific works of art with clear explanations for young scientists. A male mosquito (only the females drink blood) is displayed with inserts showing feathery wing scales and a fan-like antenna. After the Culex pipiens bites, she will need to rest for a least an hour before she can fly again, returning to the tire to lay more eggs in the stagnant rainwater. The author appends a section of further information about mosquitoes—revealing that the Anopheles kills about two million people a year in Africa—as well as a page about the micrographs. A glossary of terms is helpful, as is a list of resources, mostly websites where readers, inspired by this unusual and beautiful book, can explore photomicrographs in greater detail. 2005, Charlesbridge, Ages 8 up.
—Barbara L. Talcroft
School Library Journal
Gr 3-5-Black-and-white photographs of an evening game of hide-and-seek are interspersed with stunning color-enhanced microphotographs that record the life cycle of another "seeker": a female Culex pipiens mosquito looking for a meal. Siy's clear, readable text describes the boy's strategies in avoiding his human "seeker" and the parallel search of Culex in the growing dusk. Kunkel's exceptional SEM photos provide unbelievable glimpses of red blood cells crammed in a tiny capillary, the feathery "scales" on a mosquito's wings, and the complex cutting mechanism of its proboscis. A section with further information on mosquitoes and the global health problems they pose, another on microphotography, and a list of further resources are appended. Even if you already own Dorothy Hinshaw Patent's Mosquitoes (Holiday House, 1986) or Bobbie Kalman's up-to-date The Life Cycle of a Mosquito (Crabtree, 2004), this title is fascinating for its photography and the informative text and captions. It deserves a place in most collections.-Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Here children will get an engrossing glimpse of a smaller-much smaller-world that co-exists alongside their familiar one, as the authors commingle black-and-white photos of children at play around a water-filled old tire, with digitally colored micrographs of a female mosquito hatching, reaching adulthood and seeking out the blood meal that will allow her to reproduce. Posed against black backgrounds that really bring out the color and detail, Kunkel's ultra-close-ups of bristly insect wings and heads, of diatoms, dead skin and red blood cells, make irresistible eye candy-rendered even more fascinating by Siy's clear, specific descriptions and explanations. Some of the black-on-black-and-white captions are hard to discern, but, backed up by additional detail about mosquitoes and about microphotography both, plus a multimedia resource list, this makes an illuminating alternative to Bobbie Kalman's less visually compelling Life Cycle of a Mosquito (2004). (index, glossary) (Nonfiction. 8-10)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781570915918
  • Publisher: Charlesbridge Publishing, Inc.
  • Publication date: 7/28/2005
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 1,001,117
  • Age range: 7 - 10 Years
  • Lexile: IG920L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.43 (w) x 9.28 (h) x 0.42 (d)

Meet the Author

Alexandra Siy is the author of several award-winning nonfiction children's books, including SNEEZE!, MOSQUITO BITE, and FOOTPRINTS ON THEMOON. She lives in Fuera Bush, New York.
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