This bug lover’s delight teems with arthropod images and facts.
The survey is highlighted by a fat-tailed scorpion rearing up dramatically from one opening and a 3-D cockroach the size of an adult hand on another, its inner as well as outer anatomy depicted in exacting detail. These are no exceptions; Kay’s insects, arachnids and other creepy crawlies look lifelike enough to skitter off on their own. McGavin, a veteran entomologist, fills the spaces around them with quick but specific facts about body parts, behaviors, weapons and defenses, life cycles and habitats. A final gallery of his “ultimate bugs” covers record-setting size, speed, venomousness and like need-to-know extremes. The pages are designed to look like crosses between scrapbook leaves and the general clutter in a scientist’s desk drawer. Readers may be as dizzied as they are dazzled by the wide array of scripts and typefaces as well as the evident intent to cram as many flaps, foldouts, accordion-folded minibooks, pull tabs, slide-out panels and pop-up cutouts as possible into the book.
Almost too much—but hatchling naturalists will swarm over this like ants at a picnic. (Pop-up/nonfiction. 10-13)