100 Facts Butterflies & Moths by Steve Parker

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100 Facts Butterflies & Moths by Steve Parker

Buy 100 Facts Butterflies & Moths by Steve Parker at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: Children's Non-Fiction
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: John Lloyd
Reviewed by John Lloyd
Summary: A book that hits all imaginable bases, and more, in covering what a young student needs to know of the subject. I was drawn to it like the proverbial to a lightbulb.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 48 Date: June 2016
Publisher: Miles Kelly Publishing Ltd
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 9781786170118

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Damn those bees. They're not the only flying creatures vanishing from our world at alarming rates, and the others, like butterflies and moths, are actually runners-up to Mr Bumble and his mysteriously dying ilk in pollinating plants. Plus they're more visually attractive. But even though this book has two nudges and a thanks given to the Butterfly Conservation body, that's certainly not the more notable feature of these pages. What stands out is the superlative content.

This is a book that conveys everything you need to know about the title species, in more than a hundred facts. It does it with a pictorial vibrancy you'd expect on the shelves of any primary school, yet with a depth and attention to detail that would get you to the upper reaches of the GCSE biology syllabus. We get spiracles, setae, palps and haemolymph. I got my biology GCSE (grade B, mind) knowing nothing of Mullerian mimicry, let alone the Batesian kind. You should never expect such top notch science from a thin, large format picture book such as this, but get it you do.

And to repeat, there are more than a hundred facts, for those ones counted are the chief paragraphs. There are details in the picture captions, and in a few factual box-outs (others offer quizzes for recap, or a couple of primary school holiday activities). Of course, the writing is finely judged for a large audience age range – having been bombarded with anatomical terms I didn't think we'd gain much from being told what reproduction means, but the text covers all bases. And it doesn't read like a hundred disparate paragraphs, but something much more considered and intelligently compiled. Speaking of bombardment, I did find the numerous different kinds of butterfly and moth just went in one eye and out the other, for the scope here is large too and many are those you'll have never heard of.

What I have to thank the book for, and applaud it for, though, is the groundwork it does in giving you the basics, however much else it piles on from all corners of the world and from all scales of scientific detail. It might flummox a few at the start, with its jumping to and fro to try and define the differences between moths and butterflies, but the basics are here. We get all the life cycle stages, what and how they eat, how they defend themselves, and the pictorial aspects with all this are superlative – the close-up of the completely alien foot of a moth here is something to behold, looking as it does like a pair of sickles emerging from a hayrick.

In going far above and beyond the expected, I have to point to this as the go-to volume of its kind for any educationalist, or I suppose fan of the subject. It is a little too academic for me to imagine it on home bookshelves, but it's a very fine book. Not all moths are nocturnal; nor is this a fly-by-night publication.

I must thank the publishers for my review copy.

For a wider picture of the wide wild world, the primary school should certainly consider A Journey Through Nature by John Haslam and Steve Parker. We also have another century: 100 Steps for Science by Lisa Jane Gillespie and Yukai Du. For more about butterflies, try Rainbow Dust: Three Centuries of Delight in British Butterflies by Peter Marren.

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Buy 100 Facts Butterflies & Moths by Steve Parker at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy 100 Facts Butterflies & Moths by Steve Parker at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy 100 Facts Butterflies & Moths by Steve Parker at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy 100 Facts Butterflies & Moths by Steve Parker at Amazon.com.


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