Bugs and Bugsicles: Insects in the Winter is such a great title, you just know that children are going to want to pick it up to see what it “bugsicles” are. The topic is appealing, too. Who hasn’t at one point or another wondered where do insects go in the winter? The answers are here in stories filled with interesting facts.
Author Amy S. Hansen and Illustrator Robert C. Kray have put together an irresistible package. Kray’s acrylic paintings capture each season with autumn oranges and yellows in the fall, and cool blues and grays in the winter scenes. Hansen has chosen eight types of insect to investigate in detail. Some stories are fairly unique in the insect world, such as the long migrations of the monarch butterfly. Others are common strategies also used by many related insects, such as the cricket laying eggs underground. She saves the best for last with the story of how the artic woollybear caterpillar overwinters. Kids will love that one!
Although winter is coming to a close, spring is a wonderful time to pull out this book. Children can look for insects that are just coming out of their winter hibernation and think about where they were hiding. For example, when you see the first honey bee of the season, remember that honey bees cluster together in the hive and shiver to keep warm. Now it is time for them to gather the nectar they will need to replenish their honey stores that they used to get through the winter.
A real selling point for this book is that Hansen has included two fun hands-on experiments in the back to explore the properties of water when it freezes. The first examines how water expands when it freezes, one of the problems insects face when exposed to extreme cold. The second experiment points the way to a possible “solution” to that problem.
If you intrigued to find out more about bugsicles, then this is the book for you.
For more activities:
Shirley also has a review and activities at Simply Science.
Anastasia has a review and mini-lesson at Picture Book of the Day
I have related activities at Growing with Science.
Reading level: Although Amazon says Ages 9-12, I would say a bit younger.
Paperback: 32 pages
Publisher: Boyds Mills Press (January 2010)
This book was provided by the author.