Monday, January 28, 2008

Nonfiction Monday: Don’t Squash That Bug! The Curious Kid’s Guide to Insects by Natalie Rompella

Don't Squash That Bug!: The Curious Kid's Guide to Insects (Lobster Learners) by Natalie Rompella

Reading level: Ages 4-8
Hardcover: 32 pages
Lobster Press (March 25, 2007)

As soon as you open up Don’t Squash That Bug!, you see life-sized photographs of all different types of bugs staring right at you—creepy crawly legs, wings, antenna, larvae. It’s all right there in the endsheets—a pretty cool start to a book all about bugs.

Don’t Squash That Bug! is a perfect introduction to insects and will appeal to many different types of readers. The book is organized into two-page spreads featuring a different order of insect on each spread.

A typical spread includes:

  • The name, pronunciation, and description of the order in which the insects belong
  • Vibrant, full-color photographs of the insects in that order, along with captions giving more information
  • A paragraph or two giving details about the insects
  • Country Cousin: A short section with information about similar insects found in another part of the world
  • Don’t Squash That Bug! section: An explanation about how the insect is important
  • Where Are They?: Information about where you can find the insect

Because the information is broken up into chunks, kids won’t be overwhelmed with too much information, and they can read the sections that interest them the most without having to wade through paragraphs full of text. Rompella does an excellent job of giving information about the insects without making it sound too academic or too difficult to read.

For example, “Cockroaches are omnivores, which means they eat plants and animals. They will even eat the glue on the backs of postage stamps.”

Without overwhelming you with messaging, Don’t Squash That Bug also helps us establish an appreciation for insects and their importance to the ecosystem.

This would make an outstanding library resource, and teachers will find it useful when creating and presenting lessons about insects. For parents of reluctant readers, this book would be an excellent choice, especially if your child is interested in all things creepy crawly.

Check out the other Nonfiction Monday submissions at Picture Book of the Day. Thanks Anastasia for organizing!

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