Review Blog

Sep 13 2018

Bonkers about beetles by Owen Davey

cover image

Flying Eye Books, 2018. ISBN 9781911171485
(Ages: 6-adult) Highly recommended. Themes: Beetles. Non-fiction. What a wonderful encyclopaedic book about beetles, I read it from cover to cover, loving every piece of information given, observing the pictures with glee, scanning the layout and clear design features with admiration.
After a contents page, each double page fastens on one topic, well illustrated with clearly defined drawings, using colours that reflect the places the beetles dwell. Each page is covered with highly arresting information, distinctive and finely detailed illustrations which will enrapture the readers.
The first two double pages inform the reader about the basics of being a beetle: what they are and where they live. Readers will find that there are over 400,000 different beetles species, and that they can be terrestrial or aquatic, and herbivore, omnivore, predator or decomposer. While over the page is a magnificent drawing of a beetle with body parts numbered so that the reader can easily see what part is what, and read how each part is useful to a beetle. From there each double page concentrates on one aspect of the beetle: wings, food, disguise, defence, and camouflage while other pages concentrate on one beetle, like the ladybird and the horned dung beetle.
The last two double spreads show the beetles in mythology and conservation being made on the beetles' behalf. It will surprise readers to find out that although there are over 400,000 species of beetle, some are under threat, and Davey explains just what these beetles do and how we can help in their conservation.
All in all a sparkling look at beetles, and a book I will go back to, as will many readers who love gathering bits of information or who are potty about beetles, or just love the design of the book. Flying Eye Books has published three other books by Owen Davey that use the same entertaining style of both information and presentation: Mad about monkeys, Smart about sharks and Crazy about cats. All four of these books will gather a wide excited audience from primary people.
Fran Knight

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