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Children's LiteratureThis entry in the "Wild Wild World" series contains an overview, interesting facts subcategorized by headings of double-page spreads (e.g., "Expert Fliers," "Out of Old Skin," or "Special Defenses"), and lots of photographs arranged artistically or sequentially to illustrate a concept. While the photographs lack captions, they surround and face the short paragraphs of text that appear on each page. For instance, on a page about the species, seven close-ups surround a photo keying parts to the whole insect under discussion. By not using captions the series, however, misses the chance to educate children as to how to "read" the photos more deeply or to confirm what we think is being pictured. An ending sequence shows the differences between damselflies and dragonflies and features a double-tier of comparative photographs. For slightly younger readers, pair this with Are You a Dragonfly? by Judy Allan (2001). A three-word glossary and no index make this an additional purchase for most libraries. Perhaps families could read this book as an introduction to the topic because the good pictures will stimulate conversation and might lead to research in more complete texts. 2003, Blackbirch Press/Gale Group, Ages 7 to 11.
—Susan Hepler, Ph.D.