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Practically Paradise
Inside Practically Paradise

Nonfiction No Backbone

<wink> Listen, Bearport Publishers, whoever your photographers are, they are grossing me out. I can’t take any more full frontal views of huge stink bugs. Are those eyes looking at me? I’ve spent a great deal of time thinking this weekend. I’ve been thinking about how much I dislike most invertebrates. Why does watching a show with cockroaches crawling over someone make me shudder? 

Why did my friend Tisch spray the entire drawer with bug spray when she saw a spider in the cup? She had to throw out all the plastic bags and wash all the items when she could have put the cup on the floor and then helped the spider meet her demise. But, Nope! She saw a 6 or 8-legged thing where it didn’t belong and that was it! It was the spider or her and since she was 5’3", she won. She only screamed a little bit tonight when she found a Black Widow Spider and actually allowed it to continue to live outside. Maybe it helps that I have been carrying around two cool books in the No Backbone! The World of Invertebrates series. I highlighted the supercool Gooey Jellyfish book in January. Along come Smelly Stink Bugs and Hidden Walkingsticks

I confess I did feel sorry for the Walkingstick hanging out of a frog’s mouth on the "Dangerous Neighbors" page, but I have no desire to go catch one for a pet. Did you know someone "in Asia found a walkingstick more than 21 inches long, It is the longest known insect." Do you know the many ways walkingsticks have to fight back? They can poke enemies with spikes on their legs, give off a bad smell, blind their enemy or use their wings to frighten away other animals. 

The cover of the Smelly Stink Bugs book still frightens me. Magnifying that insect to be larger than my hand provided too much detail. Okay, maybe I’m protesting too much. I was very in to reading that book because I could anticipate all the students’ responses. 

I’m already plotting how to use the Table of Contents for reading instruction. Perhaps I could suggest that I’ll have to read only one chapter and have them decide which one. I know they won’t be able to choose just one….
A Needle-Sharp Beak, Stinky Meals, Making a Stink, Pretty Colors,…. so many choices. Maybe they can convince me to read them all. 

Or maybe I’ll start with the Index and ask them what those other bugs are doing in the Stink Bug’s book. Did he invite bed bugs, chinch bugs, flat bugs, or squash bugs? No! They should go find their own book. If I do read through to the end, I can ask them where the bed bugs were. Back to the index. What? Page 22? That’s after the story.  Aha! I have to read the extra material at the back to learn more. Oooo, yuck, people slept in the same bed with those things?! Ack! 

Let me see what else is new in the No Backbone Insect part of this series. Yikes! There are ten titles total.  I don’t think I can handle Hungry Cockroaches, Bloodthirsty Mosquitoes, and Deadly Praying Mantises! I’m going to be having nightmares tonight of the 95% of the animal population that is an invertebrate. 

Um, Bearport, could I suggest a nice series on sweet soft sheep gently jumping over fences?

P.S. Don’t tell my second graders that I don’t like six legged and eight legged creatures. Some of their parents are actually bug scientists and visit the library with samples. ARGH! I have to be brave. I actually have a backbone.