105 Ways to Give a Book

Locusts: Insects on the Move

Locusts: Insects on the MoveI’m not a big bug fan, especially having been through the seventeen-year Cicada cycle of 2004, but when I saw Locusts: Insects on the Move, by Sandra Markle, from the Insect World Series, the well-designed cover made made take a peek. The first page that caught my eye answered a big question for me, kept me reading further.
Some people confuse grasshoppers and locusts. There is one big difference. Grasshoppers always look and act the same way. Locusts can change how they look and behave. A locust can change from its solitary form to its gregarious form.
Wouldn’t that help at parties? These guys even have different “outfits.” For hanging-around-the-field, they go with a boring green and brown. But when they’re heading out on the town with thousands of their closest locust friends, they have this funky spotted brown, black, and green. Tight!

Of course, I had to read more about how they change from one kind to another and what triggers the change — proximately to other locusts, in case you’re wondering — and how they can travel so far. It was absolutely fascinating.

I’ve seen the Praying Mantis title of this series come into the library and suspect that there’s a lot more to follow. The photos are well done, the layout is engaging, and the pages feature occasional interesting facts. For instance, locusts have taste sensors all over their bodies so they can tell if something they touch is food. To me, that “ability” sounds like the worst curse I’ve ever heard of — especially on the New York subway.


Sherry said...

Yuck, but great for bug-fans, I guess.

I wanted to tell you that I'm starting something new at Semicolon, and you're certainly invited to join in along with any of your readers. It's called Semicolon Author Celebration, and to start with I'm looking for posts about Charlotte Zolotow on this Thursday, her birthday. For more information go to: http://www.semicolonblog.com/?p=2560

heather (errantdreams) said...

Sounds absolutely fascinating---and I think I'll avoid it like the plague! I've never been a bug fan...

Anonymous said...

I got the first couple books in this series for WPL, and as soon as I saw them, I got the rest. They're circing like CRAZY. They're so eye-catching. And the librarian in me loves that each book includes diagrams of the outsides and insides of the various bugs. :)

Doret said...

Well at least if you read Cicada Summer you won't have to do what I did and go online to see what they sound like