HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Bugs, Big and Little
Author: Alice Lightner Hopf
Publisher: J. Messner, 1980
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Reading level: Ages 6-10
Rating: **** 4 stars (GOOD)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Hopf, Alice Lightner. Bugs, Big and Little (published in 1980 by J. Messner). Do you know what entomology means? It’s the study of insects. Often the word “bug” is thought of as a synonym for insect, but they aren’t always the same. We sometimes use “bug” to mean any creepy, crawly critter, including spiders, centipedes, millipedes, pillbugs, and others which are not true insects. But scientists use “bug” to mean certain, specific kinds of insects. So in one sense, all bugs aren’t insects, but in another sense, all insects aren’t bugs. Technically, insects are a class (Insectivora) of invertebrates within the arthropod phylum (Arthropoda) that have a chitinous exoskeleton, a three-part body (head, thorax and abdomen), three pairs of jointed legs, compound eyes, and one pair of antennae.
The number of extant species of insects is estimated at between six and ten million, and potentially represent over ninety percent of the differing animal life forms on Earth. They are among the most diverse groups of animals on the planet, and representing more than half of all known living organisms may be found in nearly all environments, although only a small number of species reside in the oceans, a habitat dominated by another arthropod group, crustaceans. When our older son Mark was studying second grade science about insects in homeschool, we checked this book out of the library to give him extra reading practice to complement his study. It explains what insects are, examines some interesting facts about them, and discusses collecting and displaying them in the home or classroom.