I need a Big Book of Bugs for toddlers
February 23, 2011 3:44 PM   Subscribe

My toddler loves bugs and books. Obviously, a bug book is needed.

We have several storybooks/board books/etc. featuring bugs, but we thought he might really enjoy a bug encyclopedia sort of book. Something with lots of gorgeous pictures. He's just about cleaned up the taxonomy of motor vehicles so he'd probably enjoy getting words for 8 zillion different kinds of bugs.

He particularly likes butterflies and beetles, but is also fond of bees, spiders, grasshoppers, and ladybugs (well, those are beetles, right?). So a "Big Book of Butterflies" would also be a happy thing.

We're open to any suggestions from toddler books up through those juvenile reference books at the library that you use in grade school for reports ... even adult books if they're picturey enough. The key is really lots of gorgeous pictures; he likes going through some of our gardening books that have lots of pictures of plants even though they also have grown-up text. But pictures every page is good. We're also happy to get him more than one.

As I know he's not the only bug-loving toddler (or ex-toddler) on mefi, I know some parents will have suggestions, and I know we have some entomolgists kicking around too.
posted by Eyebrows McGee to Science & Nature (15 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Awesome pictures here. My 9-year-old goddaughter loves to read it; her 3-year-old sister loves to look at the pictures.
posted by Sidhedevil at 3:57 PM on February 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

While not a children's book, if you seek "huge collection of detailed color photos of bugs" a quality field guide cannot be beat. I believe the one I had as a child was an edition of this one by the National Audobon Society, which is in a nifty tall/narrow format for carrying in a pocket and is absolutely chocked full of bug pictures. Now I am wishing I knew where this was in my parent's jungle of boxes...
posted by brightghost at 4:00 PM on February 23, 2011 [2 favorites]

Icky Bug Alphabet Book, the author has many other very cool books.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 4:01 PM on February 23, 2011

I remember an earlier iteration of Scholastic's Ladybugs and Other Insects fondly.
posted by charmcityblues at 4:16 PM on February 23, 2011

I always loved The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and no matter your age, it's a lovely book and everyone should have a copy.
posted by tumid dahlia at 4:45 PM on February 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

You can't go wrong with the Dorling Kindersley books, as Sidhedevil suggested. DK also publishes two sticker books about bugs -- Bug (Ultimate Sticker Books) and Ultimate Sticker Book: Glow in the Dark: Bugs -- as well as Big Book of Bugs.
posted by MonkeyToes at 4:45 PM on February 23, 2011

The National Audubon Society also publishes this first field guide to insects. Rated grade 4 and up, but your little guy might enjoy the photos.
posted by MonkeyToes at 4:51 PM on February 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

not that it's anywhere near that age group, but the ultimate combination of book+bugs has got to be the ants by Holldobler and Wilson...
posted by sexyrobot at 5:53 PM on February 23, 2011

I have several suggestions. They are not books, but I think they could definitely enjoyed by a toddler.
1. Microcosmos is an awesome, up-close and personal documentary. It is mostly without commentary, just some classical music scores- it lets the images speak for themselves. From an amazon review "...some favorites include a caterpillar traffic jam, a frog's bout with a rain storm, and a bird that turns into Godzilla for a bunch of ants..." There is also a book full of photographs based on this documentary.

2. Your toddler will LOVE Miniscule, which is a French animation series for children (about the lives of bugs!) with 3-5 minute episodes. It seems like it's difficult to come by in the US, but it looks like there are lots of episodes you can stream

3. And of course, no nature exploration is complete without a David Attenborough documentary "David Attenborough guides the viewer through a miniature universe teeming with life, never normally seen, yet all around us."

And on another note, I suggest taking your kid on nature exploration walks if possible, and observing the insects, frogs, and plants together. As a lifelong insect/nature lover, I look back on those experiences as some of the most stimulating and curiosity inducing moments of my childhood.
posted by Kateruba at 6:06 PM on February 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

You need Hey There, Stink Bug! I got it for my niece when she was 3.
posted by 8dot3 at 6:23 PM on February 23, 2011

Sorry, didn't mean to hit post yet - Anyway, check out the amazon link book preview, or preview it in google books. It's not a comprehensive as the one in Sidhedevil's link, but it's not a storybook either.
posted by 8dot3 at 6:24 PM on February 23, 2011

My kids loved the books What's Under the Log and What's in the Pond.
posted by bricksNmortar at 6:46 PM on February 23, 2011

These were a huge hit in my house from like 12 months to 4year old. Its not all academic or anything, but you stick your finger in the puppet coming out of the book. Maybe not true for all of them, but ours are crazy mad ticklers.
posted by H. Roark at 10:04 PM on February 23, 2011

An Inordinate Fondness for Beetles is full of beautiful and amazing full color pictures of beetles. You simply cannot believe the diversity of shapes, colors and sizes (plus, the quote from whence the title comes has a great back story of its own).

As an aside, my kids also love sitting down with and leafing through The Encyclopedia of Animals: A Complete Visual Guide (one of them can read, the other not yet, but they love both books).
posted by subajestad at 11:18 AM on February 24, 2011

Response by poster: This has given me a great start. I got distracted by Mr. McGee's birthday but did some bug-book browsing today at the library and actually was able to peruse a few of these in person. Will come back to mark and review what I actually get for him!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:24 PM on February 28, 2011

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