Monday, July 12, 2010

Bug Zoo

It's Nonfiction Monday again!  Today's host is Abby the Librarian.  
(I'll be hosting on July 26th )

Baker, Nick. 2010. Bug Zoo: How to capture, keep, and care for creepy crawlies. New York: DK.

Nick Baker, star of the Science Channel's Weird Creatures with Nick Baker, has teamed up with DK to create Bug Zoo, an in-depth guide to observing, and/or capturing and cultivating some of our most common insects - aphids, caterpillars and earwigs, to name a few.

Armed with "Zoo Tools," simple things that a family will likely have on hand, , Baker walks the reader through the process of deciding what to keep (wolf spiders - yes, garden spiders - no, their webs are too big), how to catch it, where to keep it (an earwiggery, a mollusk mansion, a katydid crib), what to feed it, and why it's a cool creature.  Did you know that ladybugs are red to "advertise how poisonous or foul-tasting they are"?  If you pick one up, it may ooze a foul-smelling, yellow liquid on your hand!

Icons help to identify sections in the book.  The "hand" icon is for fun activities - like tagging snails!
To keep track of individuals, mark their shells with a permanent marker or dots of nail polish... Then go out at night with a flashlight and plot their positions on a map of your yard.  How far do they wander?  Do they return home?
In addition to icons, there are numerous sidebars, margin sketches, word bubbles, arrows, and as in most DK books, many excellent photographs.  A table of contents and index make this an easy book to browse. 

Here's a sample page:

Bug Zoo - a fun way to connect with neighborhood nature.  For ages 7 and up.

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