Though somewhat scholarly, Bodanis' book is lively enough to be enjoyed by all gardeners. Bodanis writes that a half-inch-thick pinch of soil contains millions of miniature insects and 5 billion or so bacteria. He tells us that the ladybugs' wobbling is not a design mistake, but a way of getting a good trigonometric fix on the object that its ground-surface analyzers have selected as a better landing surface. Bodanis relates that bleary-eyed beetles are one of the few insects that can eat willow leaves and survive because they alone can tolerate the willow poison. And that "killer" tomatoes will produce a defensive protein controller and pump it to any leaf that is being eaten by a caterpillar. And these are just some of the facts Bodanis shares with flair.