cover image The Beetle Book

The Beetle Book

Steve Jenkins. Houghton Mifflin, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-547-68084-2

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.)