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9781897349465_cover Enlarge Cover
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list price: $22.95
also available: Paperback
published: March 2009
publisher: Owlkids Books Inc.
imprint: Maple Tree

The Insecto-files

Amazing Insect Science and Bug Facts You'll Never Believe

by Helaine Becker, illustrated by Claudia Davila

reviews: 2
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experiments & projects, insects, spiders, etc.

Helaine Becker’s knack for turning great information into great fun is right at home in the insect world — a micro-universe full of feats of strength and tales of adventure! Through witty text and wacky illustrations young readers will learn to identify and classify insects from the everyday to the rare and fantastic. The Insecto-files brings bug facts to life with simple, insightful (and cruelty-free!) entomological experiments. Found throughout the book, each experiment can be safely performed at home without special equipment, unusual ingredients, or following fussy directions. Want to “speak” to fireflies and “sing” to crickets? Make your own bursting bug bombs? Break up an ant picnic? Through experiments like these, The Insecto-files feeds into kids’ natural curiosity and love of wacky fun, allowing them to actively learn about bugs on their own terms. Each experiment is accompanied by a “What’s Going On?” feature, so that kids can see that within each activity is a fascinating lesson in bug behavior. Readers will also encounter real-life insect inspectors along the way and learn about their zany experiments, all in the name of science!

About the Authors

Helaine Becker

Author profile page >

Claudia Davila

Graphic designer and children's illustrator Claudia Dávila was born in Chile and now makes her home in Toronto. She was formerly the art director of Chirp and Chickadee magazines.
Author profile page >
Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
8 to 12
3 to 6
  • Short-listed, British Columbia Library Association, Red Cedar Book Award
  • Winner, Fitzhenry Family Foundation, Lane Anderson Award
  • Short-listed, Ontario Library Association, Silver Birch Award
  • Short-listed, Atlantic Library Association, Hackmatack Children's Choice Book Award
  • Commended, Canadian Children's Book Centre, Best Books for Kids and Teens Selection
Editorial Reviews

What separates Becker's book from other insect-focused books is that Becker doesn't just provide fascinating insect facts; she also supplies child-friendly activities or experiments with virtually every two-page 'chapter'.

— Scouting Life

A book packed with fun experiments and fascinating facts about bugs…with 33 experiments listed and indexed and a good list of scientific concepts covered in the book, there is much of interest for would-be entomologists.

— Resource Links

The Insecto-files is jammed with interesting facts presented in kid-friendly language, with illustrations that vary between scientifically accurate and comic-book funny…[fascinating details] capture the imagination and give opportunities for further discussion and reading.

— Quill & Quire, starred review

This book provides children with a fountain of knowledge and insight into the insect world...colorful and comic illustrations will draw the children to the text surrounding them to discover even more.

— Canadian Children’s Book News

Along with the wealth of information about insects, there are fun activities and cute, charming pictures that will appeal to even the biggest of bug fearers.

— THE Magazine

Readers are hooked from the introduction. The collection of original experiments and activities encourages kids in an entertaining way to think, do, and learn.

— CM Magazine: Canadian Review of Materials

Extremely interactive and thought inspiring with questions and experiments that made us want to try them; amazing support illustrations.

— 2011 Lane Anderson Award Jury

A mix of colorful cartoons and realistic drawings of insects provides entertaining and educational visual appeal in this blend of energy, irreverence and information.

— North Bay Nugget

Out of print

This edition is not currently available in bookstores. Check your local library or search for used copies at Abebooks.

Reader Reviews

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Canadian Children's  Book Centre
Librarian review

The Insecto-Files: Amazing Insect Science and Bug Facts You’ll Never Believe

The Insecto-Files is filled with fascinating facts and easy experiments that will enlighten young entomologists in the schoolyard, backyard or at the cottage. From basic anatomy and quizzes to test their insect recognition skills to wacky trivia about prehistoric dragonflies and male cicadas’ mating calls, this book provides children with a fountain of knowledge and insight into the insect world.

Nearly every spread contains a simple, humane experiment to conduct using basic household items (straws, flashlights, sheets, etc.) and the ‘What’s Going On?’ section explains the bug behaviour the young scientists have observed. Claudia Dávila’s colourful and comical illustrations will draw the children to the text surrounding them to discover even more. Author Helaine Becker also introduces children to scientific terminology that is well explained and key concepts are presented in bold lettering to attract the reader’s attention. She has turned the study of entomology into a light-hearted and fun affair – perfect for budding young scientists.

As all good resource books do, it contains a table of contents and subject index, but also includes a list of experiments and scientific concepts covered – an invaluable resource for teachers.Written for the late primary/junior grades, The Insecto-Files is a fun and interesting read and would make an excellent addition to any classroom, school or home/cottage library.

Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Summer 2009. Vol.32 No.3.

Canadian Children's  Book Centre
Librarian review

The Insecto-Files: Amazing Insect Science and Bug Facts You’ll Never Believe

Ants, bees, flies and fleas! Kids get acquainted with bugs through crueltyfree enticing experiments that look at breathing, communication, defenses, feeding, flight, hearing, locomotion, nests, tools and vision. Energetic and bold artwork plus fascinating facts appear throughout the text, which includes a glossary and an index.

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. 2010.

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