Praying Mantises
by Sandra Markle

Price at time of review: $27.93
48 pp.
Lerner Publications Co.
Minneapolis, MN
ISBN: 9780822573005

Grade Level: 4-8

Reviewed by Martha Svatek
Retired Science Teacher

With outstanding color photography accompanied by clear, scientific text, the Insect World series provides a close-up look at the life cycle and habits of some amazing organisms. Each small, 48-page picture book is written for students in grades 4 through 8. Colorful diagrams of each insect's body parts and fascinating facts provide reader with information. The books describe many facts about each insect. This book in the series is an NSTA/CBC Outstanding Science Trade Book for 2009.

Praying mantises ("hungry insect heroes") devour pests that farmers and gardeners are eager to have destroyed. Praying mantises are fine hunters because of their fast reaction time and incredible appetite. A healthy mantis can eat more than a dozen crickets in one day! The bits of information around the page borders will catch readers' attention. Where appropriate, an activity for students is provided. It is easy to understand why Markle is an award-winning nature writer. This series of books would be ideal for a class studying life cycles or as a reference set for libraries.

Review posted on 6/11/2008

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