Bug Shots: The Good, the Bad, and the Bugly
written by Alexandra Siy and photomicrographs by Dennis Kunkel
2011 (Holiday House)
Source: Orange County Public Library
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Are bugs criminals? Bug Shots seeks to answer this question by sorting out the good bugs and the bad bugs. Readers are encouraged to join the FBI and become a Fellow Bug Investigator. Mug shots of these "criminals" are photomicrographs which give you a close-up look of these potential villains. This is such a smart approach to attracting students to the study of entomology. After the introductory chapter, readers meet the worst offenders. These are the bugs like bedbugs and mosquitoes that cause a great deal of physical harm to humans. In the next chapter, you meet the "common criminals". These are beetles that chew through crops, forests, and other valuable items. Other insects featured later on include identity changers like butterflies and moths, and those that carry concealed weapons like bees and wasps. The final chapter decides which "bad guys" are really good and those who deserve a hefty punishment.
Alexandra Siy's combination of cool facts, clever writing, and humor make this book a winner. The photomicrographs are amazing. You see so many details. One activity in the classroom that instantly jumped to mind when reading Bug Shots was to create wanted posters. Students could be divided up according to the categories in the book. This would be a fun writing activity. You could also create a ten most wanted list. Bug Shots is a unique look at an amazing part of the animal kingdom.