By: Buffy Silverman
Publisher: Lerner Classroom
Publication Date: January 2012
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: February 2012
Sometimes it's difficult to know the difference between different types of insects because they look so much alike. Both the cricket and the grasshopper are insects because they have six legs and "their bodies have three main parts." One of the ways that you can tell the difference is by looking at their antennas. The grasshoppers antennas are short and stick straight up in the air while the cricket's antennas "are longer than their bodies."
Crickets and grasshoppers both sing, but the cricket sings at night while the grasshopper sings during the day. When they do sing, they sound much different from one another and you'll learn how and why "every cricket and grasshopper sings a different song." Did you know that crickets and grasshoppers have ears? They do. The "grasshopper's ears are on its abdomen" and the cricket's are on its front legs. You'll also learn what happens as these insects grow up, what they eat, you'll learn about molting, what unusual things happen when grasshoppers are overcrowded, and you'll learn many other interesting things about these insects.
As an introductory nonfiction chapter book, this high interest topic will fascinate the young reader. The photographs are big, bold, colorful and ballooned captions clearly point to the portion of the insect being discussed. For example, one pointing to a cricket wing states, "This cricket chirps by rubbing its wings together." Not every difference between the grasshopper and cricket is detailed in this book, nor is it overly scientific as its intent is to be introductory and fun. In the back of the book is an index, a glossary, some Fun Facts, and additional recommended book and website resources to explore.
Quill says: This is an excellent beginning science book for the young reader to learn about crickets and grasshoppers.