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Insectlopedia
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Insectlopdeia by Douglas Florian
 
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 pictures.
 
Florian, Douglas.  1998.  Insectlopedia.  New York: Harcourt Brace & Company.  ISBN:  0152013067.

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