Bring me your bug books!
July 17, 2017 9:25 AM   Subscribe

My fantastic niece will be turning 6 next month. She is OBSESSED with creepy-crawlies of all kinds but especially bugs. I covet your recommendations of age-appropriate books that she will love!
posted by orrnyereg to Science & Nature (22 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
National Audubon Society Field Guide to Insects and Spiders: North America it's not a kids book per-say but I remember really enjoying those field-type guides as a kid since you could book look at all the pictures and use them to identify things I found on hikes/in the yard.
posted by Captain_Science at 9:30 AM on July 17, 2017

Oh, I came to say field guides, too.

Around that age, my son started a pretty impressive collection of I think Peterson Field Guides. He took them with him everywhere.
posted by ernielundquist at 9:33 AM on July 17, 2017

I love photographing any creepy crawlies, my 6 year old daughter has just about worn out the pages in this field guide.
posted by sanka at 9:34 AM on July 17, 2017

How Many Bugs in a Box is an absolutely delightful pop up book that my brother and I both adored as kids.

Is six "too old" for a counting book? Yes.
Is there anything specifically about bugs to learn in this book? No.
Does it have charming illustrations? YES IT DOES.
posted by phunniemee at 9:43 AM on July 17, 2017

Living Jewels
posted by effluvia at 9:52 AM on July 17, 2017

My 6 year old has been having fun with the Battle Bugs series of books. But to him it may be less about the bugs and more about the battles. The protagonist is a bug-loving kid who gets magically teleported to an island of bugs that have been invaded by lizards. It has good descriptions of all kinds of bugs and lizards sprinkled throughout the text. At this age it's probably more of a "read to her" than "read herself" series, but I expect an 8 year old would be able to enjoy them on her own.
posted by rouftop at 10:15 AM on July 17, 2017

There's a Hair in My Dirt! (spoiler: the hair belongs to a dead human, it's a little macabre but every little kid I've known finds it hilarious)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:23 AM on July 17, 2017

Nthing adult or adult-ish field guide. I all but slept with mine at about the same age. 35 years later, I can still identify insects etal from the one I had because of how much I read it.

The more color pics, the better. (Because that's part of the charm: insects are just pretty. )
posted by jpe at 10:27 AM on July 17, 2017

The one phunniemee linked to looks pretty awesome. I may get it myself.
posted by jpe at 10:31 AM on July 17, 2017

The National Geographic book series for kids have been enormous favorites at our house and it looks like they have some cool insect books. My son was also given Bugs by the Numbers a few years back and it's still something we dip back into. Absolutely charming and beautiful and full of great information.

A related idea, not a book, but HexBugs are a fun plaything that act a bit like your own bugs.
posted by goggie at 10:47 AM on July 17, 2017

Here's a cool pop-up bug book by a renowned entomologist: Bugs
posted by MovableBookLady at 10:57 AM on July 17, 2017

Some bug-related booklists from an organization I used to work for:
- Bugs
- Bugs, Birds, and Animals
- More Bugs, Bird, and Animals
- Theme guide: Bugs, Birds and Animals
posted by sa3z at 11:15 AM on July 17, 2017

We all know the kids song "There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly", and there is a great little book about it by Simms Taback. It won awards so maybe she already has it or has read it at school, but if not I recommend it. It isn't a reference book or story book so she isn't going to be devoting hours at a time to it but it is definitely a book that she could come back to and share with other kids.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 11:23 AM on July 17, 2017

Not sure if it's age-appropriate but the iExplore Bugs book has a free AR app - point it at the page and the bugs appear in animated 3D. I've seen a lot of crappy AR but these are really well done.
posted by freya_lamb at 12:20 PM on July 17, 2017

The Scientists in the Field series has several on insects and arachnids, including:
Beetle Busters - Loree Griffin Burns
Hive Detectives - Loree Griffin Burns
Stronger than Steel - Bridget Heos (on spiderwebs)

Diana Hutts Aston has gorgeous single-subject picture books with a lot of detail including:
A Beetle Is Shy
A Butterfly is Patient

Somewhere down the line, get her Jay Hosler's Last of the Sandwalkers.
posted by carrioncomfort at 12:31 PM on July 17, 2017

I guess "Metamorphosis" is out of the question.

I don't have any book suggestions, but if you and she are ever near Chicago, the Field Museum has a wonderful permanent exhibit called "Underground Adventure" in which you're shrunk to the size of said creepy-crawlies and can see them larger than life.
posted by DrAstroZoom at 12:45 PM on July 17, 2017

Bug Fair Great website where you may find some interesting educational stuff. The fair itself is great; nothing like having a beautiful rose tarantula walking with little velcro stickies up your arm.
posted by effluvia at 1:15 PM on July 17, 2017

Depending on her reading level, Bug Boys might be a bit wordy, but it sure is a fun and nice one.
posted by ITheCosmos at 3:09 PM on July 17, 2017

The Bug Book by Edward Gorey.
posted by Gotanda at 3:43 PM on July 17, 2017

Seconding Laura Knetzger's Bug Boys. It's not scientific at all, just a nice long kid-friendly graphic novel about adventure and friendship. I got it for my daughter when she was about 6 1/2 and she's read it through several times now.
posted by sleeping bear at 5:02 PM on July 17, 2017

Okay, I ended up getting the Audubon Field Guide and A Beetle is Shy. But now I have a reference list for Christmas presents! Many thanks to everybody, this was very helpful!
posted by orrnyereg at 9:07 AM on July 31, 2017

I'm very late with this reply, but since you're thinking about Christmas too... there's a rather charming picture book called Du Iz Tak? by Carson Ellis, in which an assortment of bugs discover, discuss and interact with a newly sprouted plant over the course of a year. The discussions, like the book's title, are in a made-up language... well, why would insects speak English? You can see a couple of the pages at the Amazon link.
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 12:54 PM on August 11, 2017

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