Book Review: Minibeasts: True Rulers of Our World and the Key to our Survival by Alan Henderson

Minibeasts: True Rulers of Our World and the Key to our Survival by Alan Henderson offers readers insight into the micro world of the minibeasts reveals the critical roles these true rulers of our world play in our future survival. Simply put, without the invertebrates (insects) and other tiny critters, humans would not survive. While outlining the importance of the minibeast world, this book is also a visual feast of detail and color, capturing form and behavior that the naked eye isn’t normally able to see when encountering these small creatures. The result is a book that captivates the reader while at the same time inspiring a new appreciation for these magnificent animals. Lavishly illustrated with breathtaking macro-photography, each chapter focuses on a specific aspect of minibeasts and includes introductory text followed by images and informative captions. Among the topics covered are the jobs minibeasts perform that enable life on earth to exist, as well as the ways in which they have evolved to suit their environments and how we borrow ideas from them in the fields of biotechnology, engineering and design. As we will come to realize, from new medical drugs to hi-tech robotics, minibeasts provide a wealth of material for humans to draw on to help solve our 21-century problems.

Minibeasts is a fascinating book for the photography alone. The close up images of the insects are simply amazing ad well worth looking at all on their own. Add in the details about their adaptation and tricks to survive and this book is one that will stand up to multiple explorations. So many people think of the little creatures of the world as nothing more than pests or problems, but this book shows us the complexity, beauty, and ingenuity of these creatures as well as the role the play in the world.  The text is solid, in depth enough that I learned a great deal and was highly engaged, but not so technical that I ever felt left behind or talked down to. There is even some humor in the chapter headings and information, so there is really nothing I can find to say against reading this book- unless of course the very idea of anything creepy crawly makes you shudder.  I think that young adults and interested middle graders would get just as much from this book as any interested adult. 

Minibeasts is a visually stunning book and a very informative read. I think that this should be in libraries and personal collections for anyone that is even vaguely interested in photography, biology, and the natural world.

No comments: