cover image Bug Shots: the Good, the Bad, and the Bugly

Bug Shots: the Good, the Bad, and the Bugly

Alexandra Siy, photos by Dennis Kunkel. Holiday House, $16.95 (40p) ISBN 978-0-8234-2286-9

Siy and Kunkel put a tongue-in-cheek spin on entomology, with dramatically magnified specimens presented in “Wanted” posters that make use of photomicrographs, taken through a scanning electron microscope and then colorized. “Fascinating, flashy, or felonious” beetles have been known to consume museum artifacts, but their carrion ways are actually a big help: “[A]nimals and plants die from accidents, disease, and old age just like people. Someone needs to clean up the mess.” While Siy has fun casting various insect species, like the “malaria-carrying” Anopheles mosquito, as criminals, she also makes clear their value in pollination, pest control, and other beneficial traits. The neon-hued extreme closeups of compound eyes, antennae, and other insect features make this both a clever and useful science book. Ages 6–10. (Oct.)