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Mosquito Bite

Press:Charlesbridge Pub Inc Charlesbridge; Reprint edition (February 1, 2006)
Author Name:Siy, Alexandra/ Kunkel, Dennis


"READY-OR-NOT-HERE-I-COME."The boy listens.The girl is getting closer.Suddenly, there's another sound.A droning buzz.Something else is looking for the boy.The seeker is a mosquito, Culex pipiens, and her search is a matter of life and death. 
She must find food—blood—to nourish the hundreds of tiny eggs inside her body.Black-and-white photographs show the children's game of hide-and-seek, while astonishing micrographs show Culex and her world as seen through an electron microscope.
Zoom in for a close-up view: A blade of grass looks like a menacing field of spines.
A mosquito's eye becomes a bundle of tightly packed tubes.Discover the life story of a mosquito from a truly larger-than-life point of view.

From Booklist

A child is playing hide-and-go-seek with friends one summer night, as readers are warned: "Something else is looking for the boy." That something else is a female mosquito out for blood.
In this innovative picture book that's not always seamless but nonetheless riveting, the children's story is intertwined with a study of the common house mosquito.
Black-and-white photos capture the children, while the mosquito is introduced through brightly colored, heavily magnified, eye-catching photographs (photomicrographs) of its proboscis, compound eyes, and other parts.
Although the detailed discussion of the mosquito's life cycle makes it clear she is not biting out of spite but for survival of her species, citronella may still trump compassion when readers see the photos of her "carving knives" and the back notes on West Nile virus and malaria.
The end matter swarms with more information about mosquitoes and micrographs and also includes a glossary and resources for further research.
Nice touch: the endpapers are enlarged photos of window screens.
Karin SnelsonCopyright © American Library Association.
All rights reserved

--This text refers to the Library Binding edition.

About the Author

Alexandra Siy is the author of several award-winning nonfiction children's books, including SNEEZE!, MOSQUITO BITE, and FOOTPRINTS ON THEMOON. 
She lives in Fuera Bush, New York.


Children's Books,Animals,Bugs & Spiders

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Comment List (Total:4)

  •     I used this book in the classroom as a first grade teacher a decade ago & gave all of my books to MSU when I retired. Now that I have a 3 year old grandson, I'll have to start all over with books I know he'll love. This will be one of them, since we have so many mosquitoes here in Michigan. I've already shared it with neighbors & love the facts it provides.

  •     Every summer we are advised to empty all outside containers to prevent mosquitos from laying their eggs. After reading "Mosquito Bite," we will put out insect bombs, spray fog every evening, hire pesticide services, call in the army... If I sound extreme, you will, too, after reading this book. It is graphic and creepy. Let your children read this text for their own safety. Better yet, read it together and discuss how to protect yourselves from these varmits.This is the best kind of children's book because it is informative, brilliantly laid out, and totally engrossing. Two parallel stories come together to explain how a mosquito works. Children are outside playing hide and seek. Little brother hides next to an old tire once filled with water. Yes, big sister seeks him, but so does a mosquito filled with eggs. She needs blood for her brood.When the mosquito lands on the boy, the story switches to the life cycle of this particular mosquito, to more or less personalize what a mosquito goes through. Dennis Kunkel's colorized electron micrographs take over the story. These teeny tiny photo(micro)graphs depict an amazing, though eerie world of eggs, egg rafts, larva which feed on diatoms/plankton living in standing water, the pupae stage, and then adult mosquitos. They begin to seek mates not long after they break from the pupa.But back to the boy's story: The mosquito brings her proboscis to the back of the boy's neck, then uses her knives and cutters (yep, that's what they are called) to open up the boy's skin in order to insert two tubes, one to inject chemically loaded saliva to keep the blood flowing, the other to sip blood. Sated, she flies to a nearby tree to rest and let the extra blood drain out.Most mosquitos live just a few days, others die within thirty days. A few hibernate over the winter to begin the mosquito population again in the spring. The boy hopefully lives to old age.

  •     Astonshing photographs of the mosquito in all stages of development will captivate readers. The images are colored to enhance the insect's physical featuress. Facts are interspersed with black and white photographs of children playing hide and seek at dusk, during mosquito prime hunting time.I was sharing this book with some elementary aged kids and one boy commented that the insects looked like aliens.This is a fascinating look at worlds too small to be seen with our own eyes.

  •     Great way to teach students about mosquitoes and what happens when they bite you. If you pair it with a unit on malaria and Africa. Information is wonderful and Pictures are great. Kids who love non-fiction will love this book. Teachers of all disciplines will love it. This will be great for elementary and middle school classrooms.


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