Booklist (April 15, 2012 (Vol. 108, No. 16))
Grades 3-5. Similar in approach to Arnosky’s Slither and Crawl (2009) and Thunder Birds (2011), this large-format book features many colorful illustrations, six foldout pages, and a wealth of knowledge about insects and arachnids. Each section presents a topic such as “Mayflies, Dragonflies, Stoneflies, and Caddisflies” or “Beetles and Bugs.” Used in combination with beautifully shaded pencil drawings, the colorful and sometimes dramatic acrylic paintings of creatures (represented life-size, enlarged, or supersized) will draw readers to the book. The approachable text is quite informative as well. Writing in first person is chancy in a science book, but it works here because it springs from Arnosky’s decades of observing nature and discovering how things work. Whether he writes of living in woods infested by gypsy moths or walking down a trail into a huge spiderweb, a personal narrative opens each section, which broadens to describe a group of insects or arachnids and offers facts about particular species alongside many pictures of the animals. An inviting, informative addition to science collections.