Did you know there are zombie bugs that not only eat other bugs but also inhabit and control their bodies? There’s even a wasp that delivers a perfectly-placed sting in a cockroach’s brain and then leads the roach around by its antennae — like a dog on a leash. Scorpions glow in ultraviolet light. Lots of bugs dine on corpses. And if you want to know how much it hurts to get stung by a bullet ant (hint: it really, really hurts), you can consult the Schmidt Sting Pain Index. It ranks the pain produced by ants and other stinging creatures. How does it work? Dr. Schmidt, the scientist who created it, voluntarily subjected himself to the stings of 150 species.
Potentially Sensitive Areas: Insect pests, Arachnida, Insect life cycles, Insect classification, Poisonous bugs, Parasites, Disease, Destruction, Entomology
Kirkus Reviews (July 15, 2017)
This junior edition of Stewart’s lurid 2011 portrait gallery of the same name (though much less gleeful subtitle) loses none of its capacity for leaving readers squicked-out.The author drops a few entries, notably the one on insect sexual practices, and rearranges toned-down versions of the rest into roughly topical sections. Beginning with the same cogent observation—“We are seriously outnumbered”—she follows general practice in thrillers of this ilk by defining “bug” broadly enough to include all-too-detailed descriptions of the life cycles and revolting or deadly effects of scorpions and spiders, ticks, lice, and, in a chapter evocatively titled “The Enemy Within,” such internal guests as guinea worms and tapeworms. Mosquitoes, bedbugs, the ubiquitous “Filth Fly,” and like usual suspects mingle with more-exotic threats, from the tongue-eating louse and a “yak-killer hornet” (just imagine) to the aggressive screw-worm fly that, in one cited case, flew up a man’s nose and laid hundreds of eggs…that…hatched. Morrow-Cribbs’ close-up full-color drawings don’t offer the visceral thrills of the photos in, for instance, Rebecca L. Johnson’s Zombie Makers (2012) but are accurate and finely detailed enough to please even the fussiest young entomologists. Entomophobes will find all of this horrifyingly informative. (index, glossary, resource lists) (Nonfiction. 11-14)
School Library Journal (August 1, 2017)
Gr 4-8-With over one million species of insects identified globally and over 10 quintillion live insects, there are a lot of bugs in the world! Stewart writes about the creepy crawlies that most negatively impact humans in this young reader’s edition of her 2011 adult book by the same name. Dividing the content into six categories, (“Everyday Dangers,” “Destructive Pests,” etc.), Stewart begins each one with a full-page illustration. Entries are approximately three pages long and contain a mixture of scientific information (size, scientific family name, habitat, etc.) as well as human-interest anecdotes. Juicy tidbits, such as the story of a woman who thought she was undergoing brain surgery to remove a deadly tumor and instead woke up to find that a pork tapeworm had been the culprit, will keep readers engaged and turning the pages. (Finding the pork tapeworm instead of a tumor was apparently good news.) Resources listed at the conclusion include online sources to aid in insect identification, a catalog of the best insectariums, and information on pest control and insect-related diseases. VERDICT Budding entomologists and kids who marvel in the truly awe-inspiring, sometimes hair-raising, and gross natural world will be in heaven.-Ragan O’Malley, Saint Ann’s School, Brooklyn
About the Author
Amy Stewart is the New York Times bestselling author of nine books, including Girl Waits with Gun, Lady Cop Makes Trouble, The Drunken Botanist, and Wicked Plants.
She lives in Portland with her husband Scott Brown, a rare book dealer. They own an independent bookstore called Eureka Books, which is so independent that it lives in California while they live in Oregon.
You can also find her all over the country speaking to audiences at bookstores, libraries, botanical gardens, corporate campuses, and university and museum lecture series.
Her website is www.amystewart.com
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