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The Beetle Book

4.14  ·  Rating Details  ·  774 Ratings  ·  168 Reviews
Beetles squeak and beetles glow.
Beetles stink, beetles sprint, beetles walk on water.
With legs, antennae, horns, beautiful shells, knobs, and other oddities—what’s not
to like about beetles?
The beetle world is vast: one out of every four living things on earth is a beetle.
There are over 350,000 different species named so far and scientists suspect there may
be as many as a m
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published April 3rd 2012 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published April 2nd 2012)
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2013 Mock Caldecott
33rd out of 97 books — 241 voters
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25th out of 349 books — 105 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,457)
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Lu Benke
Mar 12, 2013 Lu Benke rated it it was amazing
Absolutely wonderful! I didn't plan to read all the "fine print" (the font is extra small on each page giving more emphasis to the eye-popping illustrations of beetles) but couldn't help myself. I am positive this books is going to create some careers in entomology. The illustrations pull you in and ask you to examine all the parts of the beetle's body and wonder why the texture Jenkins chose fits with that particular bug. Librarians, be prepared to check out an insect guide with this one as I d ...more
Randie D. Camp, M.S.
I must admit that this was a difficult read because the illustrations are so detailed and realistic that I felt squeamish...that being said, I recommend this book to those that enjoy studying insects. The information is comprehensive, intriguing, and presented in such a way that the reader can pick and choose which information they want to read. For example, if you just want to know the names of beetles, you can read that; but if you want to know when a particular beetle is most active, where it ...more
So many beetles! Reading this gives you a wealth of beetle facts! Did you know that there is a forest fire beetle with special heat-sensing spots on its body? It can detect a fire from more than 20 miles away. Then it flies to the fire so it can lay its eggs in charred wood, which is now free of predators. And that's just ONE of the MANY beetles you learn about in this book.

I really liked the beetle silhouettes on many of the pages, which show you the actual size of the various beetles. Jenkins
Paul  Hankins
Apr 01, 2012 Paul Hankins rated it really liked it
Non-fiction in the elementary school classroom? Guy readers? Bug enthusiasts?

Love this one from Steve Jenkins, a name classroom teachers will want to know. As with BONES, the illustrations within the book are so rich. . .and the silhouettes are the actual size and shape of the beetles discussed in the book.

Expanded view diagrams of a typical beetle would work well with a projection system when talking about beetles.

A must-have for younger readers! Packed with information.
Edward Sullivan
Mar 08, 2012 Edward Sullivan rated it it was amazing
Another fabulous nature book from Steve Jenkins packed with amazing illustrations and great information.
This book will whet young appetites for beetles – learning about them, at least. With over 350,000 different species, readers are sure to encounter some of them in their lifetimes. Steve Jenkins presents almost 80 beetles in this introduction to beetle types, morphology, adaptations, and life cycles. You will come away amazed at all of the different varieties and the strategies these insects have evolved in order to survive (several species use chemical warfare to fend off predators!). Jenkins’ ...more
Jun 06, 2012 Jennifer rated it really liked it
I saw the cover on our to-order list of books and knew immediately that I wanted to take a look at the book, the illustrations inside live up to the cover. Jenkins bright and precise illustrations of beetles are dazzling and immediately will grab any reader's attention, the information inside the books is fun and full of interesting facts about beetles and I think would great in getting a child interested in beetles or for a child already interested in nature something new to read about. Once ag ...more
Amanda Skarupsky
The Beetle Book is an awesome example of an informational nonfiction. This book is full of interesting (and disgusting) facts about beetles. Fun fact: "line up every kind of plant and animal on Earth...and one of every four will be a beetle." Who knew? This book is filled with tons of beetle pictures with information on everything from buggy skills (heat sensing and hearing) to their disguises and sounds. As a part of the illustrations, the black silhouettes show the actual size of each typ
Summer Hemphill
May 11, 2015 Summer Hemphill rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens-lit
*Nonfiction - Informational Text*

Thoroughly informative and vibrantly illustrated, Steve Jenkins', The Beetle Book, was well executed. ]

The Beetle Book is written in large-format. Each page details descriptions of the body structure, behavior, defense mechanisms, and other fun facts of a multitude of beetle species. Along side the text Jenkins used torn paper strips to construct accurately sized replicas of beetle species. These images are a mix of res, blues, oranges, and other basic colors, sh
Jason R.
May 01, 2015 Jason R. rated it it was amazing
The Beetle Book is a non-fiction children's picture book about Beetles. The book has pictures numerous beautiful pictures of multiple types of beetles explaining the differences and characteristics of each beetle and group of beetles.
Young readers of this book are able to have a better understanding of beetles and get to see true beauty by looking at the illustrations. If a young redder has a fear of beetles they are able to familiarize themselves with the beetles so that they have s better unde
Aug 02, 2014 Kendall rated it it was amazing
Jenkins, S. (2012). The Beetle Book. New York, NY: Houghton Mifflin.

Additional Information: Intermediate (4-6)

Summary: Calling all science lovers and insect enthusiasts! This book will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about beetles. Highlights include diversity within the species and adaptation for survival.

Notable Awards/Reviews: Booklist starred 04/01/12 (Vol. 108, No. 15), Parents' Choice Gold Award 2012, Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books 06/01/12, Publishers Weekly star
Aug 22, 2014 Heather rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
that was a fascinating book
Dannita Stanley
Apr 05, 2015 Dannita Stanley rated it it was ok
I would recommend this book only for the specific purposes of studying beetles or insects. It is a great informational book in that it provides a plethora of information about various types of beetles. I feel that unless the reader is specifically interested in beetles, this book would not be that interesting.

In the classroom, this book would be great to utilize to compare and contrast different beetles. I like to teach minilessons and have students apply the reading strategies to fictional tex
Mar 18, 2015 Lori added it
Shelves: nonfiction
1) Beetle Bop, by Denise Fleming, 2007

2) “The Beetle Book” is a fact-filled book of beetle varieties classified in different categories such as: hunters & scavengers, plant eaters, beetles with clever disguises, etc. “Beetle Bop” also describes the beetle world, but with pictures of the insects in their environments (from their hiding places and even being eaten by birds) all with a fun rhyming verse.

3) Description; Comparison and Contrast

4) Students could choose or be assigned one of the b
Morgan Flaherty
WOW these illustrations are amazing! This book all the basic information a child could need about beetles. From wings to legs and hair, this book tells it all. This is filled with diagrams and beautifully colorful beetles. I was so surprised to see the attractive nature of this book. I was expecting some real life photographs of creepy crawly beetles. I believe this was an extremely smart move on the author's part. Children are much more likely to read this with such nice illustrations rather th ...more
Kate MacMillan
Jan 12, 2016 Kate MacMillan rated it it was amazing
Beetles stink, beetles sprint, beetles walk on water.
With legs, antennae, horns, beautiful shells, knobs, and other oddities—what's not
to like about beetles?
The beetle world is vast: one out of every four living things on earth is a beetle.
There are over 350,000 different species named so far and scientists suspect there may
be as many as a million.
From the goliath beetle that weighs one fourth of a pound to the nine inch long
titan beetle, award-winning author-illustrator Steve Jenkins presents a
Nov 01, 2011 Angela rated it really liked it
Non-fiction at it's best. Steve Jenkins never disappoints and this Beetle Book is no exception. Recommended for young nature lovers and all school and library collections.

I'll be the first to admit that I'm not particularly found of insects, but I am fond of books by Steve Jenkins. His cut paper collage never ceases to amaze me in it's detail and beauty. And when you add his skill to a topic as fascinating and diverse as that of beetles you end up with a book that it is easy to pore over looking at every detail. Jenkins does a nice job of picking out some of the most interesting of the more than 300,000 different types of beetles in the world and highlighting the ...more
Mar 31, 2014 Pammie rated it it was amazing
I found this book while shelving in our non-fiction section of the library, and was drawn to the beautiful illustrations. Jenkins paints gorgeous beetles that don't make you cringe or want to run--I used some of the pictures to try to copy using watercolor pencils in my monthly watercolor group. Mine don't come close to his paintings, but he is such a fantastic inspiration. I loved the inclusion of full Latin names as well as common names, and the part of the world these interesting creatures ca ...more
The Styling Librarian
The Beetle Book by Steve Jenkins- Brilliant book, front to back, even from a very anti-bug person. I found this book quite readable, just like all of Steve Jenkins’ books. My son thought the book was absolutely fantastic. Really fascinating facts about poisons, body parts, and so much more… I recently read and reviewed Steve Jenkins other newer book – The Animal Book by Steve Jenkins which mentioned The Beetle Book and teased with a few illustrations… Hope other school libraries have this in the ...more
Apr 14, 2015 Carrie rated it it was amazing
I was going to reserve my 5 star rating for books that made us laugh out loud- but this book has made me abandon that approach. This is the only book that has made the kids scramble into bed asking me to read more of it before I even have my glasses on. Before I am even awake for that matter. The illustrations are AMAZING and the information is not dumbed down, but still simple. I pulled this off of the non-fiction shelf at the library and I can tell we'll be signing it out again. Detailed, and ...more
Wow. I knew practically nothing about beetles compared to what I know after reading this book. Who knew there were so many kinds of beetles in the world? Interesting facts. I know some kids are going to be fascinated by the info. given. A few beetles and their traits mentioned. The illustrations were interesting, too. Amazing how big and how small some types are. I think this will be a popular choice for Beehives.

2014-2015 Beehive nominee

(I spend the entire time reading this book hearing in my h
Mary Ann
May 14, 2012 Mary Ann rated it really liked it
Jenkins introduces readers to a wide variety of beetles, their common features and what makes different species unique. As Jenkins tells readers, out of all living plants and animals on earth, "one in every four will be a beetle." Throughout the focus is on how beetles have evolved and adapted to their many, varied environments. Using his signature cut-paper collage, Jenkins illustrates beetles of many different sizes and shapes in fascinating detail and colors, enlarged for dramatic effect. Eac ...more
Jim Erekson
Feb 20, 2013 Jim Erekson rated it liked it
Some things about this book bothered me at first look, but a full reading brought me back around.

1. In my experience kids prefer 'fact books' with photographs or photorealism. So the paper cutouts are extremely beautiful, but I wonder whether children would be constantly wondering what a 'real' beetle looks like. However, because of the subject matter the torn and cut paper almost feels photorealistic. My concerns diminished the longer I looked at the book.

2. The standardized format of each pa
May 14, 2013 Laura rated it liked it
This book was filled with beetles in all shapes and sizes. It was a pretty good overview of the different types, what they did, and how they functioned. The author was very specific about letting readers know when a beetle was the size portrayed or actually larger or smaller than depicted and that was really helpful. There were black silhouettes throughout the book that showcased the actual sizes of various beetles. In the back there was an index of all the beetles by latin name with page number ...more
Jan 01, 2013 David rated it really liked it
The Beetle Book by Steve Jenkins presents a fascinating array of these numerous insects and the many amazing adaptations they have made to survive.

Jenkins colorful illustrations are torn and cut-paper collage. They vary in size, with numerous actual size sihouettes shown at the bottom of many pages. My favorite images are back cover, beetle variations, beetle parts, rhinoceros beetles, growing up, dung beetles, let's talk, and wasp beetle.

Jenkins book is organized by beetle characteristics such
Apr 07, 2012 Barbara rated it really liked it
Like some of the other reviewers have indicated, a new book by Steve Jenkins is always reason to celebrate. His torn- and cut-paper collage illustrations of beetles in this title are sure to lure young readers because of their incredible detail and the ornate colors they contain. Even after I finished the book, I kept returning to its pages to look again at the world's largest beetle, the titan beetle with its powerful jaws, and the colorful African goliath beetle. The aptly named violin beetle ...more
Nov 17, 2012 Janelle rated it really liked it
Kids will enjoy learning lots of strange and unusual facts about different kinds of beetles from this book and, after reading, should be able to remark on the common traits of beetles. With so many beetles in the world, it's a wonder that Jenkins was able to pare down the facts into one 40-page picture book. Yet he manages to provide a kid-friendly overview of the Beetle family as well as briefly highlighting many, many beetles (over 75 different beetles, in fact), some familiar, some unusual. A ...more
Pam ☼Because Someone Must Be a Thorn☼ Tee
IF you have a child(ren) interested in insects, then you definitely need to check out THE BEETLE BOOK.

Bright and colorful, Steve Jenkins has pulled together a great science book that gives all sorts of facts about beetles in a manner that's entertaining, and not overwhelming.

Jenkins uses illustrations in this book instead of photos. And most of the images of the huge variety of beetles that he introduces the reader to, are double in size.

Jenkins displays the various shapes and colors that beet
Danielle Harriger
Sep 01, 2012 Danielle Harriger rated it really liked it
PB 29: I liked this book because it presented a plethora of information alongside colorful pictures so that children can keep interested in the book. I loved that it presents many types of beetles in a way so that children can easily identify and differentiate beetles from one another. I think this is important because it allows children to reflect on the differences and similarities among beetles. I believe that Jenkins picked out the most interesting facts about the various beetles so that chi ...more
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