Insect Detective by Steve Voake

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I can usually (make that always) shelve books about bugs and insects without the slightest bit of temptation to open them.  I’ve purchased, checked out and shelved hundreds of books about creepy things with six legs and didn’t feel compelled to learn more. But all streaks must come to an end, and the book that did it is Steve Voake’s new picture book, Insect Detective. I bought it for Inly’s library based on reviews and knowing we have a teacher and student-driven demand for books about wildlife. It’s been sitting on my desk since it arrived.

Admittedly, it was Charlotte Voake’s illustrations that inspired me to open the book.  Her pen and watercolor illustrations are beautiful. The text invites the reader to look and listen and made me want to look at a wasp after reading this:

“Listen – over by the fence.

Can you hear a scratching sound?

A wasp is scraping away at the post with her strong jaws.

She’s collecting wood.

She mixes it into soft pulp in her mouth.

When she has enough, she’ll help the other wasps build

a nest out of paper.”

Who knew!  I didn’t, but of course  I haven’t been tempted by a book about insects until now.  This charming book encourages children (and adults) to go outside – not a bad idea during these beautiful fall days!


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