A noteworthy review of The World of Insects from School Library Journal on March 1, 2008
Concise texts describe the featured insects’ basic anatomy, outstanding physical and behavioral characteristics, diets, life cycles, roles in myths and legends, and effects on humans. Each title also includes a short survey of important groups (suborders, families) and from about a half dozen (in Dragonflies) to a dozen or so particular species. Sharp color photographs, most of which are detailed close-ups of representative species, illustrate the text on about every other page. Sidebars scattered throughout offer miscellaneous facts. In Ants and Dragonflies tinted maps indicate the geographical range of representative species. While many other introductions are available on these animals, Lockwood’s texts are more succinctly written and present some facts not included elsewhere. For instance, Dragonflies uses the technical terms for certain behaviors—‘hawking’ is catching insects in midair; ‘gleaning’ is hovering over plants to grab small insects, etc. All three titles also have more information on the creatures’ ecological importance—Dragonflies and Ants point out that the insects are ‘indicator’ species—animals that show whether or not an ecosystem is healthy. With their well-organized, succinct texts and excellent photography, these solid introductions will be valuable resources.