Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Beetle Alphabet Book

The Beetle Alphabet Book

Jerry Pallotta
Illustrator:   David Biedrzycki 
Nonfiction Picture Book
For ages 4 to 6
Charlesbridge Publishing, 2004   ISBN: 978-1570915529

If you are expecting this book to begin with something like "A is for apple" you are in for a big surprise. This book is all about beetles, lots of beetles; beetles of all shapes, sizes, and colors, and it is likely that you are going to learn some very surprising things about these versatile and highly successful creatures.

The author and illustrator begins, on the A page, with the African Goliath Beetle. This beetle is so large that they almost cover ones hand when one picks them up. Many African children keep them as pets.

Just before we get to meet the June Bug on the J page, a bee hums into view. The author has to tell it to "buzz off" because bees are not beetles. And this is not the only interloper who tries to sneak into the book. A spider, which isn't even an insect, also does not belong in this beetle collection.

With humor, a colorful collection of beetles, and interesting descriptions, Jerry Pallotta makes this special book both informative and entertaining. Among other things we learn that there is such as thing as a Violin beetle (which does look rather like the musical instrument), and that the young of dung beetles think that "poop in delicious." We also get to look at some amazing pictures, which are so life-like at times that one almost expects the beetles to walk off the page!

Jerry Pallotta has created several other insect related alphabet books including the very popular "The Icky Bug Alphabet Book."