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My Awesome Summer by P. Mantis

(A Nature Diary Series #1)

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  348 ratings  ·  92 reviews
May 17: I was born today! It's a beautiful, sunny spring day!

This is the diary of P. Mantis, one of 150 brothers and sisters born on a garden bush. P. Mantis is an amazing insect: she can make herself look like a stick to hide from predators, she can swivel her head all the way around, and when she's grown up, she'll even be able to fly!

Told in dated entries, P. Mantis d
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published February 28th 2017 by Holiday House
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Average rating 3.84  · 
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This would be a fun mentor text for a project where students to do a little animal research and then write from that animal's perspective. ...more
Feb 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
A much more fun format for learning about insects than the typical nonfiction books.

Note: I received an unbound galley of this book from the publisher at ALA Midwinter 2017.
Lisa Boyd
Feb 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I ran across this gem while weeding today. I love the diary-like entries of the life of this praying mantis.
Aug 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Really cute informational book on preying mantises. I "made like a stick" is the casual language in the book. I "grabbed him before he could say Jiminy Cricket" is another example. ...more
Aug 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
If you are talking about insects, the beautiful illustrations of them in their environments never hurts. The story is presented in a diary format as the mantis hatches, eats and grow, and eats and grows. The art of camouflage for survival is mentioned and the need to be wary of spiders and other predators, including other mantis.
I was the kid who read and spent hours in the small wooded area near our house. I loved discovering things and I loved the stately praying mantis when they would roost
Edward Sullivan
Feb 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nature, picture-books
The diary of a praying mantis. My favorite thing he does is eat his brother.
Cynthia Daniels
Sep 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This title is a delightful rendition of the life of a praying mantis who beautifully narrates her own story beginning on her May 17 birthday! Her story begins with facts just inside the book's cover lined with humorous text and beautiful paintings which teaches children about the life cycle of the praying mantis. Interestingly enough, the praying mantis that lived in the author's yard in Connecticut inspired this book and is related to mantises that came from China to Pennsylvania over a century ...more
Discover the life cycle of the praying mantis from birth in spring until death in late fall.
What a fun way to present the life cycle of a praying mantis! First, who can resist choosing this book based solely on the title? The bright, colorful acrylic ink paints illustrate the travels of the praying mantis among colorful flowers. Short informative sentences tell of the life of the mantis from hatching until death. He even manages to devour one (or two) of his brothers/sisters! The end pages of
Amanda Brooke
Nominate for the 2019 Washington state children's choice picture book award. Teachers will like the diary format and the facts about the life cycle of the praying mantis. The kids will love the frankness when he eats his siblings (is that a spoiler?).

I wonder if my older students will remember when we had a praying mantis in the library. Some kids would find bugs to feed it, but occasionally I would have to buy crickets. I never told the younger kids (and now they are my older kids) what happen
May 31, 2017 rated it liked it
Reading this, I kept thinking of "Dr. Mantis" from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

This vibrantly illustrated book traces the lifecycle of a praying mantis, from hatching in the spring to laying her own eggs in the fall. Along the way, she must find food and dodge some of the hazards these insects face.

There is a lot of eating of other bugs in this book--the mantis even chows down on a few of her brothers and sisters. This accurately describes the behavior of this insect, but very young or se
P. Mantis journals her summer as she grows from nymph to adult, preying on other insects (including her siblings) and avoiding danger (birds, bats, etc.). A cute and funny first look at the lifecycle of a praying mantis. Doesn't get into too many details and skips mating altogether, although P. Mantis does lay eggs in the same location she grew up before taking a "long nap" toward the end of October. More detailed facts about praying mantises fill the endpapers of this book and offer tasty infor ...more
Chastity Stanfield
Oct 04, 2019 rated it did not like it
I rated this book 1 star because for the target audience 4-8, is not the right age range at the lower end of the spectrum. This book gets way to graphic for smaller kids. The part where the praying mantis talks about eating his brothers and sisters then biting off a bee's head, is just not the content for 4-6 year old children. This book will make a kid have nightmares about this insect instead of being healthy curious about it and wanting to explore it, kids would cringe and say that insect is ...more
I read this Spring Related Picture Book for my #BitAboutBooks Spring Reading Challenge and I just loved Miesel's narrator, P. Mantis!!! My granddaughters love the pictures, the facts and seeing through the illustrations and dates from May through October the life cycle of the praying mantis. The laughs the baby praying mantis gleaned from my granddaughters was always about the eating.

June 2 "I'm hungry, Growing so fast! I ate one of my brothers. Okay maybe two."
June 4 "I ate another brother. An
May 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Lifecycle of a praying mantis made into a humorous adventure in the form of a praying mantis' diary. Although a praying mantis pretty much does the same thing every day - eating other animals (including its brothers and sisters) and avoiding being eaten - the diary and excellent pictures keep it interesting. Begins May 17 with P's birth and ends October 17 with her lying down and taking "a long nap." End pages are packed with facts that are thoughtfully not obscured by the cover. Great read-alou ...more
May 25, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: childrens, nature
I guess I was in the minority in finding this marketed children's book containing the fictitious journal entries of a growing praying mantis weird, disturbing, and vague. I understand that the life cycle mirrors scientific fact, but it was loose and laced with an odd, repetitive humor. Abrupt transitions and unsuccessful personification (the voice of the MC Praying Mantis sounds like about the most disinterested hipster dude you ever came across in a snobby coffee shop) turned me off, and I woul ...more
Jan 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love mantises and used to keep them as pets for many years and watched their habits. So, when I saw this picture book that is “told by” a mantis and tells the story of its life, I had to read it. It was adorable and hilarious from beginning to end. The story does a good job explaining the life cycle and habits of mantises very well, with wonderfully cute illustrations. It is in more of a picture book format than of a non-fiction/fact-based format. If you or someone you know loves mantises, you ...more
Jun 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Ha! Facts about the Praying Mantis in interesting format with running commentary including "I ate my brother" and "Ran into one of my brothers. He tried to eat me. So I ate him." Realistic in my experience with praying mantises!

I'm eager to read this to my 6-year-old bug loving grandson and get his reaction. My guess is he will love it.
Melissa Mcavoy
4 1/2 stars. A large format book with clear, colorful, watercolor illustrations. In humorous diary entries, P. Mantis narrates her life cycle. "May 19 - It's okay that I can't fly. The bush I was born on has aphids all over it. Yum! Soft and delicious!" End papers packed with facts add information and context. The gruesome realities of carnivorous insect life entertain and delight young readers. ...more
Feb 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-nature
Worked very well for read aloud for hard-to-entertain class of boys. Great illustrations, short, engaging text.

Wish the extra information about mantises was on book pages though instead of the inside pages of the cover (what are those called?) because from the library it gets covered with stickers and the jacket gets taped down so lots of it becomes unreadable :-(

Texas Critters class
Jul 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kids-lit
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Sweet diary with fun facts.
Because of it's journal format, I sorely missed the humor of Diary of a worm.
Ms. Jeane
Jun 01, 2017 rated it liked it
This is an ok book, but I feel like they are trying too hard to do what Doreen Cronin does so well with her Diary of a Worm, Diary of Spider, etc. Plus learning about Preying Mantis is a little gruesome, lol!
Jun 08, 2017 rated it liked it
The life cycle of a praying mantis, told by the mantis himself. The book felt redundant to me, but I suppose a praying mantis' life is just a matter of eating, shedding its skin, and avoiding predators, over and over again. It will be a nice addition to the insect study. ...more
Reminiscent of Diary of a Worm in tone and perspective, this is a good introduction to the short but action-packed life of a Praying Mantis. A good summertime read for early elementary kids who are exploring outdoors, and all those bug enthusiasts out there.
Debbie Tanner
This is the story about the life of a praying mantis. It's born on a beautiful spring day in May and tells the story of how it grows and changes. This one has potential for a writing mentor text. It would also be good paired with a story like "Diary of a Worm". ...more
Destinee Sutton
Jul 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Darkly funny introduction to the short life of a praying mantis. Told in a kind of diary format, P. Mantis quips, "Praying? Yeah, I'm praying. Praying something tasty comes along that thinks I'm a stick." ...more
Sep 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
If you've ever wanted to know how a praying mantis spends it summer, than this book is for you. It is written in a journal format and all from the perspective of one mantis. It is full of all kinds of facts about the insect as well. ...more
Heather Montgomery
Apr 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Young bug lovers will eat this one up! Narrated by a praying mantis who has just hatched, this is a story of growing up, exploring the world and life in general, all complimented by fun insect facts. Did you know that preying mantis hang upside down when they shed their skin?
Jun 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture
A humorous, yet informative look at the life cycle of a praying mantis.

While there is a lot information, the text is not overwhelming.

The illustrations are quite large and very colorful. The endpapers have a lot of factual information about the praying mantis.
Katie Reilley
Jul 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Cute picture book narrative from the perspective of the praying mantis told in the form of a dated diary (May through October). Some laugh out loud spots mixed with lots of great nonfiction information, and end pages are filled with mantis facts, websites and a glossary.
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