Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Bugs for Lunch

Bugs for Lunch

Margery Facklam
Illustrator:  Sylvia Long 
Nonfiction Picture Book
For ages 5 to 8
Charlesbridge Publishing, 1999   ISBN: 978-0881062724

To many of us, insects and spiders and such like creatures are a nuisance. They buzz, sting, fall in our food, eat our homes, and annoy us. What we forget is that insects are a vital part of food chains all around the world. Why? Because so many animals eat them. This is the story about just some of the animals that eat bugs and other creepy crawlies on a regular basis.

So, what kinds of animals like to eat bugs? Birds like nuthatches do, and so do bats. On the ground there are mice and shrews which delight in a nicely crunchy buggy snack. Fish such as salmon will snap up insects that fall in the water, and don't forget that some insects dine exclusively on other insects. The praying mantis is just such a creature. Larger mammals, like bears and aardvarks, also happily eat insects. Bears love to snack on honey, but they also eat the bees that make that honey, and aardvarks have a snout and tongue perfectly designed so that they can feed on termites.

What you might not know is that there is another large mammal which will also eat insects. Can you guess what it is?

Clever simple rhymes and lovely illustrations make this unique picture book entertaining and illuminating. Who knew that so many animals are bug eaters! The author supplements the information in the text with further information which is found in a "More About Bugs for Lunch" section at the back of the book. Children are sure to find the last entry in the book particularly startling.