Beetle-mania runs wild in Jerry Pallotta’s latest nature ABC, The Beetle Alphabet Book, illustrated by David Biedrzycki. From African Goliath to Zinc Metallic Beetles, the book is both informative and humorous, benefiting from Biedrzycki’s lush illustrations. The text ranges from educational (e.g., “The male Giraffe Beetle uses his unique neck to roll up leaves”) to entertaining (“It is not polite to ask a ladybug her age”).
A fascinating look at beetles from A to Z, offering readers a wide array of intriguing facts with a bit of humor tossed in. Children are encouraged to recognize the differences between beetles and non-beetles. (“I am a spider, not a beetle…Spiders have eight legs, not six.”) The author’s enthusiasm for his subject and his fresh quick-moving style of writing add to the appeal. Biedrzycki’s realistic illustrations are bold, colorful, and painstakingly detailed. The artwork is absolutely luminous, giving a beauty to these insects. It will draw readers in, but the text will keep them turning pages. This combination of glorious illustrations and interesting information makes for a fine addition to any science collection.
—School Library Journal
With its eye-poppingly vivid computer-enhanced pictures and kid-friendly snippets of entertaining information, this title makes a solid addition to the growing list of Jerry Pallotta/David Biedrzycki collaborations. Each page presents a fact or two about an alphabetical array of beetles with an occasional fact explaining what separates beetles from spiders and other insects. The pictures are gorgeous, placing the focus squarely on the beetles and blowing the critters up to fill the page. Each illustration, except the first, also contains a silhouette of the featured beetle. A map to show where in the world this astonishing variety of beetles can be found would have been a nice addition, as would some help in identifying which of the five metallic beetles on the Z page is the Zinc Metallic Beetle. The hand lettering on the diagram of beetle anatomy may challenge some young readers, but who won’t enjoy discovering that beetles have seven hearts? This lively introduction to the abundant and extraordinarily diverse world of beetles will surely inspire a few coleopterists (beetle specialists). Special note: The artist has hidden the names of the Beatles and many of their songs within the intricate patterns and fine little hairs on the beetles. It is guaranteed to puzzle children and to drive adults nuts as they hunt for them.
—Library Media Connection