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INSECT-LO-PEDIA by Matthew Reinhart


by Matthew Reinhart & illustrated by Matthew Reinhart

Age Range: 9 - 11

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-7868-0559-5
Publisher: Hyperion

Plainly intent on cramming the heads of budding naturalists with insect facts while communicating his own enthusiasm for the critters, Reinhart sandwiches quick looks at 26 sorts, from bristletails and cockroaches to ants and butterflies, between general comments on their common characteristics, and their medical, gustatory, and ecological relationships with us. He tries too hard, forcing jocular commentary into nearly every factoid—“Moths and butterflies release chemical messages called pheromones into the air that other moths can smell and understand. Smells like love in the air!”—using largely exotic rather than familiar examples, and packing the pages with anthropomorphic cartoon figures that too often emphasize wit over accuracy. There is plenty of good, basic information here, but all the yuks are more distraction than enhancement: for entertainment value, go with Douglas Florian’s same-titled poetry collection; for straight dope on our six-legged planet-mates, there are any number of choices. Reinhart offers no back matter, either. (Nonfiction. 9-11)