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|Bugs in danger : our vanishing bees, butterflies, and beetles|
Author: Kurlansky, Mark
A fascinating look at the rise and decline in populations of beloved bugs.
Kirkus Reviews (09/01/19)
School Library Journal (11/01/19)
The Hornbook (00/11/19)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 10/15/2019 This comprehensive book describes how bees, beetles, and butterflies around the world are disappearing. Kurlansky explains the necessary role insects play in our ecosystem even as they face threats from habitat loss, invasive species, pollution, population growth, overharvesting, and climate change. He details how insects accomplish pollination and what plants they pollinate. Honeybees have been disappearing due to colony collapse disorder since 2004; scientists cannot explain the cause behind this phenomenon, but they guess that, besides pesticides, it may be due to bees' natural enemies, GMOs, or an unknown virus. The disappearance of bees means the loss of pollination, which could lead to a decrease in food and the loss of human life. The book offers suggestions on what people can do to help save insects. The text is accompanied by line drawings, and the book contains a bibliography (which includes children's and adult titles, although most of the children's aren't very recent), as well as a note on the scientific method and an index (both not seen). An important and timely resource full of fascinating facts. - Copyright 2019 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 11/01/2019 Gr 5–8—Pollination by insects is necessary for the continued existence of some 90 common foods, including apples, tomatoes, barley, and almonds, as well as cotton, in addition to alfalfa for feeding dairy cows. But insect populations all over the world are increasingly threatened by human activity, including the destruction of habitats and the use of pesticides. Kurlansky peppers his text with intriguing facts: There are nearly as many species of ladybugs as mammals, and monarch butterflies have magnetite in their bodies, which allows them to navigate as if they had compasses. His themes are anchored in Charles Darwin's pioneering 19th-century research, as well as contemporary science. Sidebar texts elaborate on tangentially related topics, such as the huge variety of bee species or bioluminescence. Chapters include an introductory overview of the insect world, followed by separate sections covering the basic habits of and the threats faced by bees, beetles, and butterflies and the threats they face and a conclusion. One of the final chapters includes a bulleted list of ways readers can help insects. Liu's simple line drawings are occasionally illustrative but often add little to the text. The bibliography features many books about environmental science and evolutionary biology, though only one website is noted. VERDICT The narrative is engaging and the topic is critical but may lack universal appeal. Recommended for larger collections, especially where science-based activism is a focus.—Bob Hassett, Luther Jackson Middle School, Falls Church, VA - Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.