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A Beetle is Shy

by Dianna Hutts Aston

Book list Butterflies are showcased in many beautiful books, including A Butterfly Is Patient (2011), by Aston and Long, whose latest volume celebrates a much larger and more ancient (if not so famously decorative) group of insects: beetles. With a short paragraph on almost every page, the text addresses topics such as the egg-to-adult development of beetles, the hard outer wings that make them distinct from other insects, and their varied means of locomotion, communication, and protection. Each double-page spread leads off with a large-print line such as A beetle is tasty, introducing these insects as an abundant and protein-rich food source, or A beetle is helpful . . . or harmful, leading into a discussion of species that destroy pests or, alternately, destroy gardens and crops. Any thought that beetles are drab is dispelled by the large-scale watercolor illustrations, including a striking kaleidoscopelike composition that features iridescent beetle species. From the jacket art to the concluding identification page, here's an attractive addition to the series that began with An Egg Is Quiet (2006).--Phelan, Carolyn Copyright 2016 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission.

Publishers Weekly Aston and Long follow A Butterfly Is Patient and other collaborations with a poetic examination of the vast insect order of beetles. As in the previous books, brief phrases ("A beetle is kaleidoscopic," "A beetle is colossal") introduce various characteristics, explored in crisp, accessible text that can be both general and species-specific ("[Fireflies] flash their signals to attract a mate, defend their territory, and warn away predators"). Long's watercolors capture the vibrant details of the rainbow stag beetle, dead-nettle leaf beetle, and other striking specimens in a sparkling homage to a diverse category of insect. Ages 5-8. Author's agent: Rosemary Stimola, Stimola Literary Studio. (Apr.) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal K-Gr 4-The author/illustrator pair have created yet another colorful and intricate work. The combination of Aston's soft text and Long's watercolors provide readers with an enjoyable insight into the world of beetles. Text presented in a sweeping cursive font introduces a general statement about beetles ("A beetle is telegraphic"), while text rendered in a smaller, nonscript font expands on this trait or ability ("Most beetles send messages to each other using chemicals called pheromones.. Others `talk' to each other with squeaky, raspy sounds."). Several illustrations depict the beetle species in their natural environments (a boll weevil munching on a plant), while others juxtapose everyday items with the insect to give a sense of size perspective (the North American featherwing beetle and the eye of a needle). Each species is labeled, and the -endpapers feature an illustrated free-form list of all the beetles pictured. The only thing that could make this book better would be a glossary of the beetles with additional information for the curious child. VERDICT Children and adults will love this beautiful and fascinating book.-Gretchen Crowley, Alexandria City Public Libraries, VA Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.