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Children's LiteratureThis entry in the "Bugs" series features clear explanations of tarantula characteristics and features with an excellent and stunning selection of photographs. The book is organized into four sections: an overview of general information on the tarantula, a discussion of the tarantula life cycle, types of living conditions different tarantulas seek, and their eating habits. This last section shows a tarantula devouring a tree frog and a close-up of its fangs. A glossary, several recommended titles, websites direct from the Internet rather than on a hosted site, and an index are featured. It is an excellent choice for the upper elementary grades where more information is needed but in clear prose with well-captioned pictures. While the modest amount of text poses no problem for sixth grade researchers, third or fourth graders will need some encouragement but the effort will be worthwhile. 2004, Kidhaven Press/Gale, Ages 8 to 12.
—Susan Hepler, Ph.D.