Every so often my mom calls to tell me about a great picture book she's run across and is planning to send along for Mariam. They are inevitably wonderful reads with beautiful pictures, and they usually have the advantage of being something that I might not have necessarily thought to get for her myself. Such is the case with Bugs for Lunch by Margery Facklam. Full of bright, bold illustrations and text that reads like a poem about science, Bugs for Lunch manages to be both interesting and informational. In other words, just our sort of book.
Bugs for lunch begins with pictures and words about different animals and the insects that are a part of their diets. As the book moves forward, the author also shares a bit about people around the world who include insects on their menus, and from the perspective of the six year old member of our household, this is where it gets good. This is also where the book provides a great opportunity to start considering the ways that people around the world work with their natural environment to provide themselves and their families with the nourishment that they need, sometimes from surprising sources. The book ends with an appendix that provides a paragraph description about each of the animals featured in the book, including human beings. This addition makes for a great supplement to an already fun read and really helps to expand the educational potential of the book.
We used to live in a rental house owned by a retired entomologist who had been a professor at the local university. One of the many interesting things that he left behind in the house when he moved out was a small collection of cookbooks stocked with recipes for eating insects. I think that might have been the inspiration when my mom sent this book along, but I didn't need to give it all that much thought before deciding that we would just enjoy this book without considering any culinary ambitions. I'm assuming that most of you will do the same, but in the event that you are particularly adventerous eaters, do let us know!