Feel a bee’s fuzzy body or marvel at holographic butterfly wings in this tactile board book.
Oversized bugs are the center of attention, with body parts and species labelled and a descriptive sentence about the particular characteristics of each one. The book alternates between spreads introducing one insect per page and in-depth double-page spreads. These double spreads are composed of smaller illustrated squares with factoids about the featured insect’s habitat or life cycle on the verso with magnified insect on the recto. Though the various tidbits are informative and acquaint older children with entomology-related vocabulary, early learners won’t sit through the cumbersome and wordy sentences. Soft-colored digital illustrations strike a nice balance between portraying the creepy-crawlies representationally yet nonthreateningly, although the wasp might remain too realistic for the comfort of many. Tactile elements enrich understanding of bug anatomy, from debossed segments on a grasshopper to a ladybug’s puffy wings, while sparkly papers and prismatic highlights capture an insect’s natural ostentatiousness, allowing a sentence like “the wings on my back are bright and shiny” to be brought to life with blue-green iridescence. Like insects, this book seems doomed by its fragile binding to a short life span, and a sticky (and out of place) earthworm will soon become as dirty as the real thing.Though it isn’t built to last, scientifically minded preschoolers will be abuzz over this multisensory board book. (Informational board book. 2-5)