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The Best Book of Bugs (Best Book Of...
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About the Author

Claire Llewellyn is a prize-winning author of nonfiction for young readers. In 1991 she was shortlisted for the prestigious TES Junior Information Book Award for MacDonald's Take One: Rubbish, and in 1992 she won that award for My First Book of Time. Since then she has written more than 20 children's books on a wide range of subjects. She is the author of Kingfisher's recent Saints and Angels. Claire lives in Hertford.

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Gr 3-5ÄTwo lavishly illustrated introductions. Bugs highlights the major ways in which insects and spiders differ and then briefly describes some outstanding physical or behavioral characteristics of about two dozen arthropods. The life cycles of honeybees, dragonflies, and butterflies are also outlined. The second book briefly discusses the general characteristics of several groups of dinosaurs and mentions some special traits of about two dozen species. Brightly colored acrylic paintings of varying sizes appear on every page of both titles. Although the books are clearly written, the information is oversimplified and some important facts are omitted. For instance, in Bugs, the book notes, "Wasps live in colonies, too"; however, not all species are social insects, some are solitary wasps. In Dinosaurs, several chapters include fictionalized scenes. Descriptions of attacks by meat-eaters on plant-eaters are sensationalized. More thorough introductions to these subjects are widely available, such as Robert Snedden's What Is an Insect? (Sierra Club, 1993) and Jennifer Dewey's Spiders Near and Far (Dutton, 1993; o.p.); both include excellent illustrations. Miriam Schlien's Discovering Dinosaur Babies (S & S, 1991) and Steve Parker's Did Dinosaurs Lay Eggs? (Benchmark, 1997) offer lucid explanations of how recent discoveries have effected our understanding of what dinosaurs looked liked and how they behaved.ÄKarey Wehner, San Francisco Public Library

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