If I was asked to make a list cataloging the things of which I most dislike about the contemporary book trade, Amazon, electronic books, and self-publishing would hold positions one, two, and three. So when I find a book so worthy of recommendation that I am willing to overlook the fact that it ticks two of the “terrible three” items on my list, it should be assumed by all that it is a book of which notice should be taken. Just such a book is Incredible Arthropods: Insects, spiders & more! by Kristie Reddick and Jessica Honaker, better known as The Bug Chicks.
When it comes to both enthusiasm for, and effectiveness in, the education of both children and adults about the lives and ways of the myriad fascinating creatures to be found in the Phylum Arthropoda, few (if indeed any) can rival The Bug Chicks. Bringing to a subject that is all-too-often considered “icky” by even some natural history enthusiasts, The Bug Chicks combine their extensive education and experience in the field of entomology with a delightfully, well… “dorky” (bug dorky, to paraphrase one of their classic phrases) humor that puts their audiences at ease with creatures from which they might otherwise recoil and as a result allows them to learn just how fascinating arthropods can be and how important they are to the natural world.
Which makes it all the more logical that their first book produced under The Bug Chicks’ name should be an entomological coloring book. Yes, a coloring book. But not just any old coloring book, mind you. For while it does have a generous collection of large line drawings of assorted interesting creatures ranging from the Hercules Beetle to the Atlas Moth all begging for the application of crayon, colored pencil, or felt-tipped marking pen, Incredible Arthropods also contains an informative overview of each creature that most anyone from neophyte to field naturalist would find interesting. There are also a few pages dedicated to learning how to draw some of the creatures depicted as well as a glossary of all the biological terminology used in the book.
Let’s face it; most children – as well as many adults – don’t react well to things that try to force education on them, nor do they take kindly to anything boring or condescending; which is what makes both The Bug Chicks themselves as well as their Incredible Arthropods so remarkable. The central idea is all about fun, and if in the process something is learned, so much the better. It’s for this very attitude that those who have had the pleasure of seeing The Bug Chicks in action have often made the comparison between them and those veritable rock stars of physics, engineering and general nerdery, the Myth Busters. As one who has had this pleasure, it is by no means an unwarranted comparison in the very best of ways.
Publisher: Primedia E-launch LLC
Publication Date: 5 December 2012
Format: Trade Paperback