Insect Defenses


32 pages
Contains Photos, Illustrations, Index
ISBN 0-7787-2368-2
DDC j595.7147




Reviewed by Anne Hutchings

Anne Hutchings, a former elementary-school teacher-librarian with the
Durham Board of Education, is an educational consultant.


All four of these new titles in The World of Insects series follow
Kalman’s tried-and-true formula. Each two-page spread focuses on a
different topic. Text is kept to a minimum—the print is large and easy
to read. Words appearing in bold print are explained in a glossary at
the back. Colourful photographs, illustrations, and diagrams abound.
“Did You Know” sidebars provide additional details.

All of the books begin with basic information, such as “What is an

Insect Homes describes the tremendous variety of dwellings from simply
a space between to rocks to highly complex termite mounds that may be
over grow to over 30 feet high. Insects in Danger is the most
thought-provoking of the four. With hundreds of thousands of different
insects in the world, “endangered” is not a word that comes to mind.
Yet, as this book points out, with rainforests being cut down, swamps
and wetlands drained, settlements encroaching on deserts, and grasslands
being cleared for farming, insects are losing their habitats. Pesticide
use and the introduction of non-native plants and animals are other
reasons why some insects are endangered. Everyday Insects provides an
overview of common insects (grasshoppers, ants, bees, earwigs, fleas,
etc.), many of which will be familiar to the reader. Finally, Insect
Defenses focuses on the adaptations and/or techniques used to deter
enemies. These include camouflage, jumping or flying, venom, colour, bad
taste or smell, safety in numbers, and even giving up parts of their

Each of the books concludes with some type of activity to further
involve the reader. Insect Homes includes a game for two or more
players. Everyday Insects and Insect Defenses contain matching
activities. Insects in Danger suggests photographing insects at work in
one’s own yard.

The books’ attractive design and ease of use make them very
accessible and appealing to primary- and junior-grade readers. All of
them are highly recommended.


Kalman, Bobbie, and Rebecca Sjonger., “Insect Defenses,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 18, 2024,