Posts Tagged ‘insects’

There’s a Weta on my Sweater. He Weta kei runga i toku Paraka by dawn McMillan, illus Stephanie Thatcher. Pub. Oratia, 2020.

November 27, 2020 Comments off

What do you do if “there’s a weta on your sweater… and he doesn’t want to leave’ or ‘a centipede in the bus… causing quite a fuss”. What if they are joined by a spider, a stick insect, a huhu and a frog?

And they all come to your class room and the teacher stands on a chair? You will have to read this bilingual picture book in English and Maori to find out.

Perhaps granddad has some answers?

Great fun with rhyming text and illustrations especially of the insects that stand out. A classy publication

I Love Bugs by Elspeth Alix Batt.

September 3, 2020 Comments off

I Love Bugs by Elspeth Alix Batt. Pub. OneTree House, 2020.

Any illustrator that can put a smile on the face of an earwig is OK by me.

This energetic and poetic picture book about bugs is a total delight. In it are grubs that are wrinkly and wriggly, spiders that are jumpy and jiggly, crickets that are pleasingly prickly but I couldn’t find any feelings for the mosquitos that are wily and whiny, although they certainly are.

Then there is the gecko. Check this superb picture book out and see what happens.

The illustrations are first class with each bug given a suitable character within it’s habitat.

In the back there is a list of the bugs shown with an accurate profile.

A good read-a-loud for juniors and introduction to the world of bugs.

Great humour.

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Bugs in Danger. Our Vanishing Bees, Butterflies and Beetles by Mark Kurlansky, illus. Jia Liu.

February 25, 2020 Comments off

Bugs in DangerBugs in Danger. Our Vanishing Bees, Butterflies and Beetles by Mark Kurlansky, illus. Jia Liu. Pub. Bloomsbury, 2020.

This non fiction book is told like a finely crafted novel. It is so interesting that I read it twice over a period of a month.

Darwin said that biodiversity and a large number of species is one of the keys to survival. Unfortunately for a large number of essential insects the number of species is slowly disappearing and this poses problems for the survival of other plants and animals not least humankind.

The use of insecticides, habitat destruction, climate change and light pollution combined with natural occurrences like mysterious colony collapse disorder by bees, has eliminated already thousands of extinctions of both plant and animal species. Are humans the next?

Insects make up 80% of all living species but they occupy only 7% of space. While we despise mosquitoes and flies, eliminating them causes other species who feed on them to also decline. Bees in particular are hugely important because they pollinate many food crops and their disappearance would be catastrophic causing food shortages.

Jia Lui’s subtle pen and ink illustrations support the easy to read and understand written text. I would rate this one of the best non fiction science texts I have ever read.

Suitable for primary through to secondary readers.

The Genius of Bugs & Activity Book by Simon Pollard.

November 29, 2016 Comments off


The Genius of Bugs & Activity Book by Simon Pollard. Pub Te Papa Press, 2016.

Issued in conjunction with the Bug Lab exhibition at Te Papa these two science books about bugs are exceptional publications.

The emphasis is on selected bugs that use Weapons, Teamwork, Engineering and Deception to ward off enemies and attract their prey.

Take the Bombardier beetle that blows a super-hot, stinky gas powered spray out of it’s bottom and you are right in a very interesting book.

Add the Spitting spider, the brain surgeon Jewel wasp that surgical implants it’s eggs inside a cockroaches brain and the Japanese honey bees that surround an enemy and cook it alive with their body heat and you have an action packed read.
New Zealand Wetas , the  Harvestman spider plus my favourite the Moss piglet add flavour and science comes alive.

Splendidly illustrated with close up photographs and written in large font with bite sized information boxes and the package is complete.


Genius of Bugs Activity Book by Simon Pollard. Pub Te Papa Press, 2016.

The Activity book allows juniors to make their way through a spider maze, solve a word find puzzle, connect the dots to discover an insect and answer true or false questions. Answers are in the back of course.

Helps juniors connect with the subject of insects  in the above book.

Broad appeal over the whole primary/ intermediate school and plenty of boy appeal.

Ben and the Icky-Ooky-Sticky-Smick by Sally Sutton, Illustrated by Gary Venn

February 1, 2013 Comments off

icky-ookyBen and the Icky-Ooky-Sticky-Smick by Sally Sutton. Illus Ben Venn. Pub. Walker Books, 2013. 

When Ben’s popcorn eating Icky-Ooky-Sticky-Smick goes missing the family is in an uproar. mum runs into his cribble-crabble-sscuffle-snuck and sister Zara is ambushed by his ticki-tocki-flicky-flock.

Ben’s other imaginary insects also escape from their glass tank and it takes grandad who looks remarkably like an insect himself to work out a way to capture the Icky-ooky-sticky-smick.

Great for language and a brilliant read-a-loud for juniors.Gary Venn’s illustrations capture the action very well and his imaginative drawings of the strange insects makes them real and believable.

There are also lessons to be learned in this early science picture book . An essential purchase for junior school libraries and for the home. Your children will want to hear you reading it time and again. Just try getting your tongue around a lurky-murky-dottle-spot or a poople-popple-pigle-snop.. Excellent.

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