***This book was reviewed for Algonquin Young Readers via Netgalley
Stewart’s Wicked Bugs: Young Reader’s Edition is a condensed version of Wicked Bugs: The Louse that Conquered Napoleon’s Army and Other Diabolical Insects geared towards middle-aged readers. Replete with photos and beautiful pencil sketches, this book is divided into six sections, each ending in a specialised essay.
‘Deadly Creatures’ looks at dangerous bugs that don’t seem to fit one of the other chapters, including mosquitos and tsetse flies. I learned a great deal of fascinating information about plague under the Oriental Rat Flea. The ending essay looked at the more dangerous scorpion species.
‘Everyday Dangers’ focused on beasties such as lice and ticks. The end essay focused on parasitic worms. Eww. That’s all I have to say.
‘Unwelcome Invaders’ examines invasive species, either to regions or dwellings. I never would have thought of earthworms as being undesirable. Who knew. The essay looked at invaders of a different sort- bugs that create zombies out of other bugs. Creepy.
‘Destructive Pests’ showcases bugs that can cause widespread destruction, such as species that undermine houses and other buildings, like termites and deathwatch beetles. The end essay focused on forensic entomology and insects that partake of a more unusual destructive streak. Being a person long interested in forensics, and having once studied forensic anthropology, a discipline closely linked, this was my favourite essay.
‘Serious Pains’ are just that. These critters, including the Asian Giant Hornet, or the Giant Centipede, deliver painful bites or stings. Or machine-gun rapid salvos of acid. Because why not? The section wraps up by looking at dangerous ant species, and at the Schmidt Guide to sting and bite intensity. I loved the sarcasm dripping from the descriptions.
‘Terrible Threats’ are beasties with a fearsome reputation like the black widow, or those that cause terrifying infestations leading to things like blindness. Um, no thanks. The essay is just as bad, covering a variety of maggots that prefer to dwell under human skin. Quite a far cry from the maggots used in maggot therapy, that only eat dead flesh so they are used to gangrenous wounds and necrotic flesh. I don’t want either on or in me though, if we are being honest.
📚📚📚📚 Recommended. Packed full of neat facts and information, this book is sure to please any bug-lovers in the family