|Insect superpowers : 18 real bugs that smash, zap, hypnotize, sting, and devour!|
Author: Messner, Kate
Profiles of the animals and their powers, mixed with spreads that compare, contrast, and pit the insects against each other in an action graphic novel format.
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Kirkus Reviews (10/15/19)
School Library Journal (11/01/19)
Booklist (+) (11/01/19)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/11/19)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 11/01/2019 *Starred Review* The Green Bolt, the False Flash, the Vomitizer. These aren’t villains set to destroy Batman or Superman; rather, they're a few of the 18 insects with superpower adaptations and survival skills featured in this impressive collection. Divided into six sections on insect speed, mimicry, heft, engineering, and chemical weapons, as well as “amazing ants,” the informational book takes on the look and feel of a vintage superhero comic book. A brief introduction to biological classification, with an emphasis on insect orders, kicks off the text before delving into individual critters. Each section gives a short overview and real-life size comparisons in millimeters of the selected insects. Each profile, in turn, takes readers through a battle in which the insect has to use its superpower to capture prey or avoid predators. For instance, large-scale comic-book panels depict a bird about to seize an African bombardier beetle until this “Machine Gun Butt” emits a hot, noxious mist from its abdomen. Action-packed descriptions in text panels provide the science behind this defense mechanism. Other text panels present fast facts, such as the insect’s common name, physical characteristics, habitat, and of course, archenemies. And in true comic-book style, the best battle scenes involve “Smack!” “Crunch!” “Kapow!” and other onomatopoeias. The format gives readers a fun and delightfully creepy way to learn about insect adaptations. - Copyright 2019 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 11/01/2019 Gr 3–7—Messner celebrates 18 insects' "superpowers" using large, informative comic-book style sequences, pithy chapter titles ("Great Imposters," "Big and Tough," "Masters of Chemical Weaponry"), clever phrases ("the malevolent mimic," "the great glue shooter," "the sonar smasher"), and large-print exclamations. Sidebars and inserts include each insect's common and scientific name and other information such as physical features, secret hideout, superpower, favorite food, allies, and archenemy. Comic book–style sequences show the insect in action. The termite, described as "the great glue shooter" because of how it wards off ant attacks, is depicted in a four-page spread confronting an ant and accompanied by other termite soldiers. An afterword emphasizes that all the information in the book is true, even though some insects have powers that rival fictional superheroes. VERDICT The book's unique format is both informative and appealing. While it is a fine mentor text for young readers and writers of nonfiction, it is also highly recommended for browsing and enjoyment.—Myra Zarnowski, City University of New York - Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.