Scorpions!: Strange and Wonderful / by Laurence Pringle; illustrated by Meryl Henderson. 8.6.2015

Boyds Mills Press ISBN 9781590784739

INT Grades 3-6 Rating: 5

Scorpions!, part of the Strange and Wonderful series, offers careful facts accompanied by painted illustrations that enable readers in grades 3 to 6 to explore the world of scorpions. While all scorpions kill and eat other living things, have poisonous stingers, and have the same basic body shape, author Laurence Pringle gives ample evidence that scorpions differ a lot: they vary in size, in behavior, and in the places they live. The colorful paintings are carefully coordinated to match text and depict the physical makeup of many varieties.

The narrative presents the eating habits of scorpions, their courtship, reproduction, and their role as predators. The watercolor paintings offer close-up views, with many scorpions being shown life-size; when a scorpion is enlarged, a small silhouette nearby indicates its actual size.

Libraries that have Pringle’s earlier Scorpion Man are encouraged to add this informative work. Those seeking a title on scorpions for preschoolers can check out Scorpion by Katie Marsico, which offers rhyming text for toddlers. Pringle makes a point of noting that information sources include the respected The Biology of Scorpions by Gary Polis, the comprehensive source of information in its 600 pages on scorpions.

Leroy Hommerding, CLJ

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