Rich in features, if not so much in content, this introduction to insects will give larval entomologists a buzz.
In text sprinkled with the occasional typo, the commentary in the “Insect Story” section offers basic information about diversity, body parts, diets and metamorphosis, illustrating this with simple, sometimes animated cartoon images. “See Insects” presents photos and video clips accompanying closer looks at 30 selected species drawn from five of the class’ major orders. From the title screen, readers can also open a personal journal for collecting their own observations and photos, a quick-access index of the app’s multimedia elements and a set of extremely easy quizzes. However, though a search icon leads to a photo gallery of about 125 insects (sortable, oddly, by color), only the original 30 come with more information than species and common names. Furthermore, aside from a few invaders that have made it to North America, all of those featured entrants are Asian—and subtitle “Village Edition” notwithstanding, there are no ants, cockroaches or mosquitoes.
It’s far from encyclopedic, but budding naturalists will find the journal and overview appealing, and the camera work is often dazzling. (iPad informational app. 5-10)