Insectlopdeia by Douglas
Poet Douglas Florian has caputred the world of insects in his funny twenty-one poem collection called Insectlopedia.
The poems will crawl, walk, fly around and sting you like insects in the springtime. Through his witty poems,
Florian folds in little insect facts for children to learn. In "Caperpillar" we learn that they ("rent a room
inside a pupa, and checks out: Madame Butterfly--How super!"), in "Army Ants" the kids will be chanting along
to ("left/right/left/right/ We're army ants."), to the whimsy free verse of "The Giant Waterbug" in which the father
bug ("can lug/his eggs upon his back./He gives them extra care up there/and guards them from attack.")
Florian has suceeded at delivering a poem book that authenticity describes the insects in the book. The "Inchworm"
poem is even shaped like an inchworm moving with the center portion off the ground. "Insectlopedia" exhibits amazing
use of word play, rhyme and rhythmic poems such as "The Hornet" (A hornet is an inscet killer-/She feeds her
babies caterpillars,/Spiders,flies, and if she's able/Pudding from your picnic table.") What humor to include an insect
eating insect in a book about insect.
Florian has illustrated his book with expressionistic watercolor pictures, opposite the poems, that are drawn
on brown paper bags in a collage style. The unrealistic capture of shirts, pants, and shoes by "The Black
Widow Spider" add comical relief to a dangerously poisonous spider.
The poems are centered and do not cover the entire page. The torn edges of the paper bags are included in several
Florian, Douglas. 1998. Insectlopedia. New York: Harcourt Brace & Company. ISBN: