Book Thoughts: The Fascinating World of… Bees and Spiders

“The Fascinating World of…” was a series of children’s nature books, each book focusing on a different animal. In addition to text, they had many colorful illustrations to explain the concepts. They were released in the early 1990s. This entry covers two books because I didn’t have enough thoughts on each to write about them individually. Bees came out in 1991 and Spiders in 1992. Both books were written by Maria Angels Julivert. Bees was illustrated by Carlos de Miguel while Spiders was illustrated by Marcel Socias Studios.

I recently read these books again to remember what they were like and to write my thoughts on them. They were for older readers compared to the Life Story: Snake book I wrote about yesterday. Life Story: Snakes was good for around age 7 to 10, but The Fascinating World of Bees and Spiders looked to be better for ages 10 to 14. The text was smaller, indicating these books were made for individual readers rather than a parent reading them for a child. Also, they used many scientific words for the body parts of the animals. Young readers might get stumped trying to pronounce those words.

The illustrations in both books were high quality. I remember loving them as a kid. They really brought the animals to life. I could imagine how the animals were living. My mom took me to parks a lot when I was little. I could see these animals firsthand and understand them more because of good books like The Fascinating World of Bees and Spiders. I think books like this also got me to love video game exploration. Video games were just like illustrated books only more detailed and expansive.

The text was good too. Every page had a few short paragraphs of text, plus lots of shorter sentences pointing to and explaining the various animal parts and concepts. The right page always had a full page illustration to show the animal in a more natural setting, not just with the white background of the page. They had a good caption for the full page illustration, with a miniature outlined and numbered illustration to note the important parts of the bigger illustration.

The Fascinating World of… books were really good, but the kings of this kind of book were Dorling Kindersley. They had these massive tomes covering all animals or the human body that I remember loving as a kid. They were usually too expensive to buy, but I always enjoyed borrowing them from the library or flipping through the pages at the bookstore. They were great books for the many times my family spent hanging out at the bookstore with a coffee. Since they didn’t have a story, I could stop reading whenever my parents were ready to go and not feel like I was missing out on a conclusion to the story. Each page was bite-sized entertainment.


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