There are creatures living in our homes that are hard to imagine until we see the close-up photos of some of them in this nonfiction text that is part of the “Zoom In On” series. Bacteria is shown at a scale that is 700 times its normal size, and mold on food is shown at 900 times its actual size. Large, color photographs depict the tiny details. Two-page chapters about each creature present houseflies, cockroaches, spiders, mites and more. Information about the silverfish describes how it looks, what it eats, and where it might be hiding. Besides the large-scale photo and several paragraphs about each insect, the book features additional photos with extra facts. In the chapter about wasp nests, Spilsbury explains how they make their paper houses, and how they use their mandibles for grabbing, chopping, and cutting. A “Fearsome Fact” is provided for each creature. For example, we read that a wasp nest can contain 3,000 to 5,000 wasps and be as large as a beach ball. A table of contents, a glossary, an index, and a list of additional resources are provided. Lots of information presented in an interesting way makes this book a good choice for early science education. The large and plentiful photos provide extreme and unique views of a variety of creatures that should create visual appeal for young readers. Reviewer: Vicki Foote; Ages 7 to 12.
Gr 3–5—Extreme close-ups of bugs, viruses, cells, and more charge up this series with browser appeal. These volumes offer a random sampling of creepy and odd subjects paired with melodramatic headlines, from praying mantises ("The Hug of Death") to viruses ("Viruses Hitch a Ride") to follicle mites ("Eyelash Bugs"). The up-in-your-face photos are presented with snippets of commentary in high-density jumbles of text and images. Reasonably generous resource lists, size comparisons, and notes on how much each photo has been magnified add at least some systematic elements.