Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Voake, Steve. 2010. INSECT DETECTIVE. Ill. by Charlotte Voake. Cambridge: Candlewick. ISBN 9780763644475 [Suggested Grade Levels K- 3]
In this simple picture book, Steve Voake reveals the world of insects in a way young children can easily understand. The casual yet knowledgeable voice is accessible and inviting. Individual facts scattered around the pages add bits of information that correlate to the insects and their world. Interesting facts about the specific insects are mixed with suggestions for listening to, looking for, and observing these creatures. The book differentiates insects from other arthropods in a brief explanation and suggests ways that children can look for all of them in their neighborhoods.
Pen and ink outlines emphasize the washes of soft watercolors and lovely spot art highlights the facts throughout the book. The soft colors and chatty voice of the book present the information in a friendly, quiet style. The world of insects is just waiting at the door and kids can learn more about insects by using the suggestions on the final spread, so that they can be insect detectives, too.
Read and discuss the activities on the final spread. Choose one of them to carry out. Create a space outside and make a place for insects to collect. Observe the insects and arthropods that show up and use the experience to write about their observations or create a story.
Other books for children about insects and appreciating them:
Eisner, Thomas. FOR LOVE OF INSECTS. ISBN 9780674018273
Johnson, Jinny. SIMON & SCHUSTER CHILDREN’S GUIDE TO INSECTS AND SPIDERS. ISBN 9780689811630
Naskrecki, Piotr. THE SMALLER MAJORITY. ISBN 9780674025622
By Shirley S. Duke