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Small Wonders: Jean-Henri Fabre and His World of Insects
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Small Wonders: Jean-Henri Fabre and His World of Insects

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  270 ratings  ·  66 reviews
A moth with a sixth sense. A wasp that hunts beetles nearly twice its size. The lives of fascinating creatures such as these were unknown until one man introduced them to the world.

Meet Jean-Henri Fabre, one of the most important naturalists of all time. As a boy in the French countryside, Henri spent hours watching insects. He dreamed of observing them in a new way: in th
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published May 12th 2015 by Two Lions (first published April 21st 2015)
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4.17  · 
Rating details
 ·  270 ratings  ·  66 reviews

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Aug 17, 2015 rated it it was ok
As far as a kids book it kind of misses the mark. The illustrations are generally great and look like lush paintings. Some of them are too fuzzy or blurry when reading the book. If you were reading to a kid it might not matter though.

The plot of the book goes all over the place and never feels complete, which is often the exact opposite of the scientific method, which is one of the reasons he became so popular. At the beginning you think the story is going to be told through a boy in the villag
Mar 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
In a small French village lives a strange man who is interested in the smallest of creatures, the insects around us. He lures flies with dead animals that he pays the children in the village to find. His home is filled with specimens. No one realized that he was one of the greatest naturalists of his time. Jean-Henri Fabre grew up in the countryside where he was fascinated by the natural world around him. No one else seemed interested in the same things that he was, but that didn't deter him fro ...more
Feb 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is the intriguing story of Jean-Henri Fabre, a self-taught naturalist whose fascination with insects led him to discover that these creatures actually communicated with each other and were hard-wired with certain behaviors. Born in 1823, he shared his discoveries with the public, many of whom were shocked by what he learned. There were many large wonders to be found from studying these small wonders of nature. Readers cannot fail to be inspired by his example as he toiled alone with little ...more
Nov 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
I had not heard of Jean-Henri Fabre. This is a beautiful picture book that shares the story of this great entomologist. My daughter and I both really enjoyed this book and discussing his life story.

Jean-Henri Fabre wrote a piece called "The Boy Who Loved Insects." I liked a quote that said, "We have all of us, men and animals, some special gift. One child takes to music; another is always modeling things out of clay; another is quick at figures. It is the same way with insects. One kind of bee c
Sherrie Pilkington
May 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Disclosure: I won this book in a FirstReads giveaway.

Who would have thought a biography of an entymologist would make for an excellent children's book? The author writes about the life of Jean-Henri Fabre in a whimsical and lighthearted way. It's really sweet and makes the life of a scientist sound passionate and full of fun. This is a great one for parents to read with their kids as I'm sure it raises lots of little questions.

The art is really beautiful and suits the whimsical style of the book
Jun 27, 2015 rated it it was ok
The text of this book is unclear and confusing. The backmatter, especially the historical note, would have made a better book. The artwork is nice, but not enough.
Nicolina Circella
This book was able to provide a valuable lesson while telling a wonderful story. The pictures and the detailed text highlighted the academic use of this book while also allowing for entertainment. The descriptions provided in the book allowed for readers to form in depth connections while reading. It is as if I could hear the bees buzz and smell the various flowers due to Smith's wonderful writing. This story is a good read and could instill the want to learn in many young children. Maybe it wil ...more
Jarm Boccio
Dec 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The wonders of the insect world! As a child, Henri was fascinated with all things small and crawling in his garden. His life’s mission was to discover not only ‘what’, but ‘how’ and ‘why’ with his insatiable thirst for knowledge in God creation. This drive lead him to win the Nobel Prize! Love the end notes, and illustrations in this delightful book. And again, another connection with my word of the year: WONDER!
sandra k smith
Jun 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Surprisingly good!

I expected a children's book and instead found a charming and wonderful bit of history worthy of any scholar of any age! I am so glad to have found it. I grew up on a farm and often marveled at the way insects went about their daily lives, this man's devotion to the study of their existence is truly inspirational. I really appreciate the author's fine telling of his story in a way that is neither tedious or time consuming.
Jun 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: insects
I loved this book, but it made me want to read it's hard cover version. I had to make the tiny print larger for my old eyes, and it covered up a lot of the beautiful illustrations. Our local library doesn't have a copy. The author honored Jean-Henri Fabre, and his study of insects. The town's people didn't know what to make of this old man, who was down on the ground looking at things.
Esther Westfall
This was a wonderfully told story about the life of Jean-Henri Fabre. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature for writing more than 200 works primarily about insects. Though this was a biographical story, my kids loved it too because it was written in a way that makes it easy for them to understand as well. Would definitely recommend it to everyone!
Audrey Sauble
Jan 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
A really beautiful picture book. We had fun finding all of the bugs hidden in the pictures. I picked it up thinking there would be more actual science about bugs, but it focused more on the biographical story--not in a bad way, just not what I was hoping for.
Parks and Education
Aug 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This story follows one of the first naturalists known as the Father of Insects and his method of studying insects alive in their natural habitats. A fun told partly though flashbacks, this book will inspire the little bug lover in your family.
This is super interesting! I love that one man's passion allowed him to discover all these feats that traditional scientists didn't. Bugs freak me out, but this made me appreciate them more. Read for Info Books for Youth for grad school.
Miss Sarah
Dec 20, 2017 rated it it was ok
A picture book biography of Jean-Henri Fabre who worked with insects to discover their particulars. Elementary and up
Angie Quantrell
Apr 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
I loved this biography about Jean-Henri Fabre and the world of insects. This is the perfect book to get kids interested in reading about important figures and insects!
Rebecca Caufman
Mar 25, 2018 rated it it was ok
Very long picture book biography about a french man who loved insects.
"There are many paths to genius."

A narrative biography about a man pursuing his passion, even at the expense of his job or the derision of those around him. Fabre's natural curiosity about the world around him drew him to make groundbreaking discoveries in the insect world. "Instinct is the animal's genius."

Includes an historical note, author's note, timeline, and bibliography of resources.
Mar 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Wow! There is a lot of information packed into this picture book. It may be a little overwhelming for small children but the illustrations are brightly done and fascinating on their own. This would be a wonderful introduction to any bug or insect related outdoor activity.
Jan 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
I had never heard of this man. I will have to see what the family entomologist thinks of this book. I particularly love the illustrations.
Jun 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an excellent little children’s story about Jean-Henri Fabre. Jean-Henri was an entomologist from France. He was born in 1823 and was a teacher at a variety of schools. The illustrations are beautiful and they have lots of things to discuss. Love the pink houses.
Feb 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: short
Very good. I had donated it to the preschool I was working at when I received this via Goodreads giveaways.
Emily Garrison
Oct 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
This story is a Nebraska Golden Sower nominee for 2016! This book is a fictional book about a man who makes it his life's work to collect all sorts of insects throughout the day and night. He collects live ones and dead ones and keeps them all in his home in France. It wasn't always this way! The book then goes on to tell us that this man had grown up as a boy who was extremely curious about the world around him and who found beauty in even the strangest places. But as the man aged, he lost inte ...more
A picture book bio and a self-taught naturalist living in France. Jean-Henri Fabre spent hundreds of hours observing insects in their natural environment and his backyard research led to discoveries that changed science forever.

During the time that Fabre lived (1823-1915), most research on insects was done in labs and involved dissecting dead specimans. Fabre took his enthusiasm and curiosity for insects and wrote for the benefit of both scientists and the general public.

Here, the facts of Fabr
Anna Dipprey
This science informational book doubles as a biography about Jean-Henri Fabre. In this super colorful book we learn about insects and how Fabre studied them. The illustrations were cool and I think children would like to look at the pictures as much as they want to find out about the tiny critters around them.
This book would be best suited as a read aloud for a classroom starting a section on bugs. This introduces all sorts of bugs as well as a famous naturalist that studies them. I think this i
Heather Wright
May 02, 2015 rated it it was ok
"Small Wonders:Jean-Henri Fabre and His World of Insects" is a biography book for children 6-9. The book is about a scientist who is well known retells his life story. He spoke to and collected animals and did many studies of them. The illustrations used pencil drawing and water color which gave the book a good affect. However, I really didn't enjoy the book that much I think since the author was the little boy his self he could of use more background information so maybe the reader could connec ...more
Oct 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Sometimes you really enjoy a book because you already know and enjoy the person or thing that the book is written about. I come to this book biased. We have read a couple of Jean-Henri Fabre's natural history books and have enjoyed them so much, I am now partial to a children's book about his life.
So maybe others may find things to critique about this book, I am willing to give the benefit of the doubt all the way to the last page. The illustrations capture and expand the momentum of the text, b
Jun 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
I dislike bugs. Quite a bit.

And yet they're fascinating. This book describes everything I like about bugs (and science in general) - the observing, asking questions and looking for answers, and the thrill of seeing something actually happen. The patience involved. The excitement of sharing discoveries.
Jean-Henri Fabre made bugs seem cool. I'm not about to run out into the field and start following the ants around, but I sincerely appreciate that he did so. He not only uncovered the mysteries of
Dec 22, 2015 rated it liked it
A nice picture book about a man best known in France who was a poet as well as a naturalist; he was nominated for the Nobel Prize in literature! (For his ten-volume set of essays on insects and other natural subjects.) He lived from 1823-1915, studied insects all around him in their natural habitats. Was a teacher, though the popularity of his class "aroused suspicions" and he was forced to resign. He was the first person to prove insects use pheremones. He had a passion to share everything abou ...more
Jennifer Heise
Apr 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Families that love nature and children than love bugs
My seven year old and I really liked this for a bedtime read. A fascinating story about a little boy who liked to explore the world, and who grew up to be an old man who studied and told people about the world of insects. For a bug-and-nature-loving kid, this a great story. The text draws the reader in to the luminous world created by the illustrations and the paradox of starting with an old man doing odd experiments who is eventually visited by the President of France adds suspense. (I especial ...more
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