School Library Journal
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Gr 4-7-"Line up every kind of plant and animal on Earth..." says Jenkins at the start of his joyous celebration of beetle-mania, ".and one of every four will be a beetle." From the minute clown beetle to the gigantic titan beetle (its jaws are strong enough to snap a pencil in half), the artist uses his trademark torn- and cut-paper creations to depict a wide sampling to introduce neophyte beetle lovers to the sumptuous world that awaits them. With more than 350,000 species known to science (and others being discovered as you read this review), Jenkins had his work cut out for him. Throughout the colorful, fact-filled pages runs a series of life-size silhouettes to give readers a proper perspective for comparisons. In informative snippets of hand-lettered text, he offers life-style data and basic beetle physiology, and quirky details such as the fact that museums use hide beetles to clean animal specimen bones, and that bombardier beetles squirt a blinding spray into the faces of their enemies. Suffice to say that Jenkins's enthusiasm for his subject shines through in this rich and varied compendium.-Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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Jenkins pairs his customarily gorgeous brand of cut- and torn-paper collage with fascinating tidbits in this exploration of the vast world of beetles. Each insect is carefully crafted to highlight its unique characteristics-the feather-horn beetle's fanlike antennae; the striking red markings on the back of a harlequin beetle-and several are shown actual size (terrifying in the case of some like the titan beetle and Fijian long-horn beetle). Readers will learn about basic beetle anatomy, as well as facts about specific species: the Australian tiger beetle "is the fastest runner in the insect world," and the titan beetle's jaws are strong enough to "snap a pencil in half." Jenkins offers a wealth of information about beetles and presents it impeccably. Ages 4-8. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
*Starred Review* Through striking illustrations and intriguing information, this large-format book introduces the world of beetles. The text opens with the startling information that one quarter of every kind of plant and animal on Earth is a beetle. After an overview of body structure, sections are devoted to topics such as beetles' senses, behaviors, life cycles, communications, and defenses. The fully illustrated format will appeal to a younger audience, but the book is better suited to children who are already familiar with words such as toxin or pupa. Well regarded for his collages of cut and torn papers, Jenkins is in top form in these illustrations, offering intricate, precise images of beetles isolated on broad white pages. The pictures combine clarity of form with subtlety of texture and color. A typical double-page spread features several large-scale individual pictures with small-type paragraphs of information appearing alongside them. At the bottom of some pages, black silhouettes show the actual sizes of beetles pictured above. While the book lacks such traditional back matter as a glossary, source notes, and bibliographies, it includes a list of each species mentioned, its Latin name, and its locale. A richly varied and visually riveting introduction to beetles, both familiar and strange.--Phelan, Carolyn Copyright 2010 Booklist