Amazing World: Bugs – L.J. Tracosas

If you know me at all, you know that I’m just the teeniest bit obsessed with fun facts. This book is essentially Fun Facts: Bug Edition, so a must read for me.

All bugs are arthropods, meaning they all have a joint in the leg or foot, exoskeletons and are symmetrical. After explaining what they are and highlighting some of the ways they protect themselves, this book introduces you to twenty bugs.

You’ll learn where they live, what they eat and how big they are. At the end of the book there’s a glossary. I definitely learned some new words today.

Because I can’t help myself, I need to tell you my favourite fun fact for each bug.

When a Click Beetle is in danger it flips itself over and plays dead. Only it can’t flip back so it flings itself into the air over and over again until it lands the right way.

The body of a Spiny Flower Mantis mimics flower petals, which brings their food to them.

Daddy Longlegs aren’t spiders. Seriously??? They’re part of the arachnid family but are more closely related to scorpions.

The Hickory Horned Devil Caterpillar turns into a regal moth, which doesn’t have a working mouth.

Firefly adults are generally vegetarian but when they’re young many of them are carnivores.

The Jewel Wasp can turn cockroaches into zombies. The process is ingenious but kinda gross.

The female Spiny Orbweaver makes the web and is larger and more brightly coloured than the male.

The Longhorn Beetle eats trees.

Like the hickory horned devil caterpillar, Luna Moths don’t live long enough to eat. Luna Moths are nocturnal.

The nose of some species of Lanternfly is almost half the size of its body.

The Goliath Beetle weighs up to 100 grams (4 ounces).

The Giraffe Weevil was first discovered in 2008. It lives in Madagascar.

If a predator catches a Stick Insect, it may be able to get away by detaching its leg. They grow back!

Glowworms aren’t actually worms. They’re the larvae of the fungus gnat.

Because apparently we don’t call things what they are in the bug world, Railroad Worms are also not worms. They’re female beetles and they look amazing at night.


When they’re in danger, the Motyxia Millipede “will leak deadly cyanide and other yucky substances from the pores dotting their sides.”

What you know as a stink bug is actually called a Shield Bug.

Giant Devil’s Flower Mantis has a brilliant scientific name: Idolomantis diabolica.

In 1939, someone found a Glowing Cockroach. Just the one and it’s the only one that’s ever been spotted. It’s kind of adorable though; when it glows it reminds me of someone wearing a cape.


The Hercules Beetle lives up to its name. It’s the world’s strongest insect and “can lift more than 800 times its weight.”

I liked the layout of this book. There wasn’t so much text that young readers would find it overwhelming and there are at least two photos of each bug. I loved that the size of each bug was shown in relation to the size of a hand.

This was an entertaining way to get today’s fun fact fix. I may need to visit Ecuador to see if I can find the second ever glowing cockroach.

Thank you so much to NetGalley and Chartwell Books, an imprint of Quarto Publishing Group, for the opportunity to read this book.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

Amazing World: Bugs transports kids around the world to discover the lives of 20 strange and magnificent insects. Adding to the fun, the book includes 13 reusable glow in the dark plastic stickers.

From shimmering glowworms and fireflies to the extremely odd giraffe bug, every insect profile includes up close and personal, full colour photos of each amazing creature and tonnes of fun facts and easily digestible graphics. Kids learn about where each bug lives, what they eat, how they evade predators much, MUCH larger than they are, and so much more! 

Discover each bug’s unique skills for building and defence. Explore the fascinating characteristics of bugs like the lanternfly, which is named for its large snout, or the stick insect, which can blend in anywhere. 

Just a few of the intriguing bugs you will meet: 

  • Click Beetle 
  • Spiny Flower Mantis 
  • Daddy Longlegs 
  • Hickory Horned Devil Caterpillar 
  • Jewel Wasp 
  • Luna Moth 
  • Glowing Cockroach 
  • And more!

Amazing World: Stars & Planets – Paul Beck

Astronomers thinks almost all galaxies have black holes at their centers.

This book is a good introduction to the universe for astronomers in the making. It includes facts about the sun, terrestrial planets, gas giants, ice giants, dwarf planets, moons, comets, nebulae and galaxies. You’ll learn a little bit about each of the following:

  • The Sun
  • Mercury and Venus
  • Earth and Mars
  • Jupiter
  • Saturn
  • Uranus
  • Neptune
  • Pluto
  • The Moon
  • Europa
  • Titan
  • Comets
  • Orion Nebula
  • Eagle Nebula
  • Bubble Nebula
  • Ring Nebula
  • Cat’s Eye Nebula
  • Crab Nebula
  • Andromeda Galaxy
  • The Milky Way
  • Sombrero Galaxy.

On a dark night away from the city lights, you can see the Andromeda Galaxy without a telescope. It looks like a faint smudge in the sky. At 2.5 million light-years away, it’s the biggest, farthest thing you can see with your eyes alone.

I enjoyed the bite-sized pieces of information. I would have used this book as a resource for a school project but likely would have needed additional books to supplement it.


As the moon travels around the earth, it turns so that the same side is always facing the planet.

Thank you so much to NetGalley and becker&mayer! kids, an imprint of Quarto Publishing Group, for the opportunity to read this book.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

There is more to outer space than what we can see in the night sky. Explore it all with Amazing World: Stars & Planets and be a real space traveller.

How is a star born? Why does it die? What is the difference between a star cluster and a planetary nebula? Discover the answers to these questions and more in Amazing World: Stars and Planets! This exciting exploration is a door to the infinite realm beyond the pale blue dot we call home.

From stellar nurseries, to glowing green clouds, to spiral galaxies, find out about the dramatic lives of these explosive players in our universe. This is the perfect introduction to the great celestial bodies of outer space for science lovers and their children. Kids will love the gorgeous, bright images, and will also learn quickly from the easily digestible bites of information on each page.

Amazing World: Stars & Planets also includes a collection of glow-in-the-dark stickers to put on notebooks, folders, bedroom ceilings, anywhere!

Amazing World: Sea Creatures – Lee Martin

I’ve been fascinated by anything that glows in the dark since I was a child so when I first heard of bioluminescence I was enthralled. Even now I react with childlike wonder whenever I see sea sparkle photos.

The word bioluminescence is made up of two parts – bio, which means “living thing” and luminescence, which means “light” – so, living light.

This book provides some fun facts about twenty living lights:

  • Dinoflagellates
  • Velvet Belly Lanternshark
  • Gulper Eel
  • Anglerfish
  • Lanternfish
  • Shortnose Greeneye Fish
  • Hatchetfish
  • Firefly Squid
  • Glass Squid
  • Bioluminescent Octopus
  • Atolla Jellyfish
  • Crystal Jelly
  • Lined Seahorse
  • Bloodybelly Comb Jelly
  • Bobtail Squid
  • Giant Clam
  • Long-Armed Brittle Star
  • Midwater Jellyfish
  • Sea Pen
  • Sea Slug

Although they’re not officially one of the twenty, pyrosome, “the unicorn of the sea”, were also mentioned. I had to look them up because they sounded so interesting. (More info here)

Some of the facts were really interesting.


The Atolla uses its light to attract predators rather than chase them off. It is nicknamed the “alarm jelly” because when threatened, the Atolla flashes blue, bioluminescent light around its ring, like a police siren. It can project its light as far as 300 feet (91 m). When it flashes, curious larger predators come sniffing around and are drawn to the predator that was stalking the jelly.

Others were nightmare fuel.

As a young fish, the male latches onto a female anglerfish like a parasite. After the male digs his sharp teeth into the female, its mouth releases a special chemical that sort of melts her flesh. Over time, the male’s body joins with the female, and he loses all of his internal organs except for his reproductive organs. A female anglerfish can carry more than six males on her body!


Stats provide facts about the length of each sea creature and their diet, as well as the depth and parts of the ocean they are found. Readers will be able to easily visualise the length of each creature because they’re compared to objects like soda cans, baseballs and ice creams. There is a glossary at the end of the book.

As a child I would have probably only used this book for a school project. Adult me loves all of the photos and fun facts. As I’m getting older I’m finding that I’m paying more attention to the beauty that surrounds me. Being able to read little tidbits about different plants and animals only adds to my awe of nature. There are quite a few sea creatures included in this book that I need to learn more about.

Thank you so much to NetGalley and becker&mayer! kids, an imprint of Quarto Publishing Group, for the opportunity to read this book.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

Some ocean animals have the incredible ability to make their own light! Amazing World: Sea Creatures shows off twenty of these unique animals with facts and photos.

From the lanternfish, to the Atolla jellyfish, to the glowing bioluminescent octopus, the ocean is filled with animals that gleam and glow. Go on an electrifying journey to see how these living lights use bioluminescence, fluorescence, and symbiotic bacteria to light up! Amazing World: Sea Creatures reveals the fascinating lives of strange and amazing marine animals.

This beautifully illustrated and photographed book for kids explores twenty incredible creatures you’ll only find under the sea. You will learn how each of these underwater animals create their own light, and how they put it to good use. Is that wasn’t enough, Amazing World: Sea Creatures even includes a sheet of glow in the dark stickers!

You won’t believe all the cool, beautiful, and sometimes downright weird animals that live under the ocean. They’re not aliens; they’re sea creatures!