Spring is almost here, and with it comes a new season of insect investigations! If you’ve got young children in your life, trust me when I say that nature exploration is one of the most fun experiences to share, and once the temperatures warm up a bit, out come the bugs. What better thing to do than dig for worms, turn over logs in search of beetles, or watch the skies for fluttery butterflies? How about bringing a resource out with you as you do these things? Maggie Li’s new picture book, Bug Detective, is a fabulous candidate for that resource!
Well, if we’re going to be specific, this book will help with investigations about more than just those six-legged, three-segmented insects. Many different types of crawly creatures are featured, actually. Do you know the differences between insects, arachnids, and myriapods? How about between annelids and gastropods? Don’t think those technical terms are too difficult for young children, because this book helps explain and inform in a way that helps kids understand and make connections with the real world.
Each section gives information about one type of bug, including what they eat, where they live, and how they grow throughout their lifetimes. The facts are dotted across each two-page spread that depicts a tableau appropriate for that bug– a fallen log on a forest floor for centipedes, or high up on thin branches for a variety of stick insects.
With so much to look at and learn on each page, this book is probably best read at a slow pace, or pulled out for reference based on observations or interests, rather than read cover to cover in one sitting. The final pages include a glossary of basic terms, perfect for older children to reference on their own, as well as a list of several suggested activities, perfect for continued investigation. Be sure to pop out the mini-magnifying glass embedded in the front cover to assist in those investigations, too!