A Kid’s Guide to Backyard Bugs by Eliza Berkowitz

Fascinating, familiar specimens of insects AND arachnids are found in this lovely guide for young naturalists.

A Kid’s Guide to Backyard Bugs by Eliza Berkowitz, illustrated by Nicole LaRue. Gibbs Smith, 2023. 96 pages.

cover image of a kid's guide to backyard bugs

Reading Level: Picture Books, Ages 8-10

Recommended For: Ages 8-10

Forty fascinating, familiar specimens of insects AND arachnids are found in this lovely, kid-friendly guide. Each page spread features an illustration, the common name, family or scientific name, description, food, life-cycle, habitat, size, and fun (or not so fun) facts about small creatures that may be found in many parts of the United States.

The book begins with how to build a bug hotel with an old log, stones, and yard debris, and ends with another kind of log (a table or list) for keeping track of what you find, plus a glossary.

The compact size makes it handy for a backpack or nature display. My only complaints are that it begins with a scorpion (I don’t believe it is THAT common across the United States!) and has no easy way to look things up aside from turning every page. A table of contents or index with thumbnail images would have been helpful for this audience. But since there are only 40 specimens, flipping through the book could help build awareness of what other “bugs” to look for. A nice introduction for young naturalists.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5

  • Worldview/Moral Rating: 4 out of 5
  • Literary/Artistic Rating: 4 out of 5

Read more about our ratings here.

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Megan Saben

Megan is Associate Editor for Redeemed Reader, and she loves nothing more than discovering Truth and Story in literature. She is the author of Something Better Coming, and is quite particular about which pottery mug is best suited to her favorite hot drinks throughout the day. Megan lives with her husband and five boys in Virginia.

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2 Comments

  1. Amy on September 2, 2023 at 11:13 am

    Do you remember if this book has an evolutionary perspective/leaning, or does it stay pretty factual? Thank you!

    It is funny they chose to begin with the scorpion, maybe to pique interest by starting with a bang. From personal experience, living over 10 years in Indiana I saw 0 scorpions. Living over 10 years in Georgia I’ve seen 40+. That includes out in nature, and in the house, in the bed, even in the kitchen sink! Even a momma scorpion with all her little scorpion babies all over her back. The nature experience does vary quite a bit from state to state!

    • Megan Saben on September 11, 2023 at 6:35 pm

      Amy, thank you for your patience, and I’m sorry for the delay in my response. I don’t recall an evolutionary leaning; if there was any, it was pretty minor. Overall it stuck to the simple facts.
      I wondered if that’s why they started with a scorpion. You’ve seen 40 in Georgia?! I can’t imagine that. I grew up in Iowa and now live in Virginia where I have seen a few black widows. That’s quite enough for me, thank you.
      Thank you for asking. 🙂

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