Product Code: 15918
Binding Information: Hardback
Ages: 7 - 10
Grade Highest: 5th
Grade Lowest: 2nd
Availability: In stock
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.
About the Mircrographs
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Kirkus Reviews - June 30, 2005Here children will get an engrossing glimpse of a smaller—much smaller—world that co-exists alongside their familiar one, as the authors commingle black-and-white photos of children at play around a water-filled old tire, with digitally colored micrographs of a female mosquito hatching, reaching adulthood and seeking out the blood meal that will allow her to reproduce. Posed against black backgrounds that really bring out the color and detail, Kunkel's ultra-close-ups of bristly insect wings and heads, of diatoms, dead skin and red blood cells, make irresistible eye candy--rendered even more fascinating by Siy's clear, specific descriptions and explanations. Some of the black-on-black-and-white captions are hard to discern, but, backed up by additional detail about mosquitoes and about microphotography both, plus a multimedia resource list, this makes an illuminating alternative to Bobbie Kalman's less visually compelling Life Cycle of a Mosquito (2004).
The Horn Book - September 30, 2005"It's a humid summer night," and Siy's hazy black-and-white photographs set the stage: children playing hide-and-seek in the woods near an old tire while a mosquito fulfills her destiny. Kunkel's color-enhanced photomicrograph insets provide close-ups of mosquito anatomy, including wings, antennae, and that pesky proboscis that causes problems for mammals. Shown at magnifications of up to several thousand times and with false color enhancement to highlight various features, the micrographs are sharply detailed and provide a wealth of scientific data. It's hard to believe that these images— sometimes monochromatic and sometimes contrasted for detail—are actually of such an annoying insect. The text moves back and forth between discussion of one child's inevitable mosquito bite and detailed information about the mosquito life cycle and development. Additional information at the end of the book explains how the micrographs were created. A glossary, an index, and a list of resources are appended.
Language Arts - November 1, 2006Alexandra Siy and Dennis Kunkel use words and photography to combine drama and story with science and fact in Mosquito Bite. In the middle of a children's game of hide and seek, the mosquito, Culex Pipiens, intrudes. Desperate for food, she homes in on one of the pariticipants. She needs blood to nourish the eggs deep inside her body, and the boy hiding by the old tire appears to be an excellent source. This introduction invites us to enter the world of the mosquito. The vivid language turns the mosquito's life cycle into a suspenseful page-turner, and the text is accompanied by amazing larger-than-life images of the tiny insect's world justaposed with black-and-white phtographs of the children's game. Readers will be drawn to the highly detailed, brightly colored photomicrographs, especially the one of the mosquito's proboscis with its knives and cutters used to pierce human skin. Explanations of the photomicrographs, the scanning electron microscope, and the computer techniques generating vibrant colors show Culex in high relief.
The end matter provides more information about mosquitoes, including their life cycle; diseases they carry, such as malaria and West Nile virus; effective means of protection, and a life-size photograph of the mosquito comparing it to the photomicrographs. A glossary, index, and list of resources, both print and Internet, are also included. Mosquito Bite will align readers' sympathies with Culex Pipiens. They will want the mosquito to find food so she can live--but not quite enough to hesitate before slapping the mosquito on bare arms in summer!
NSTA Recommends - November 1, 2005Alexandra Siy interweaves a tale of a game of hide-n-seek with the life cycle of the Culex pipiens. On its quest for food (blood), C. pipiens discovers a child in the forest and is able to nourish its eggs and evade predators. Each page in Mosquito Bite will forever change the way readers view mosquitoes!
A typical child's questions, such as “Why does a mosquito bite? How does the mosquito develop?” or “Where does it live?” are answered using text and scanning electron micrographs. C. pipiens and its habitat are enlarged from 10x to 3,400x. Compound eyes, egg cases, and pupa are exquisitely portrayed. Colors have been artistically added to black-and-white images to highlight features. From the proboscis with its serrated cutters to mouth brushes and feathery antennae, C. pipiens anatomy is detailed along with additional facts. The glossary defines critical terms, and web resources are included.
The intermediate reader will find the nonfiction text engaging and the photomicrographs delightful! Some may want to conduct further research on the controversial use of DDT, a widely banned pesticide, or the growing problem of the West Nile Virus.
Yellow Brick Road - March 31, 2006The thrill of the hunt isn't something we often associate with mosquitoes, but Siy engages readers with fascinating information and close-up electron microscope photographs.
Booklist - June 1, 2005A 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 huse 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.
Connect - January 31, 2008Mosquito Bite, by Alexandra Siy and Dennis Kunkel, is a fascinating non-fiction title for children ages seven through twelve that explains the life cycle (and feeding habits) of one of the "deadliest animals on earth." The text is from the perspective of a mosquito who is looking for a meal. Photomicrographs, taken with a scanning electron microscope, illustrate the storyline with amazing detail and exciting colors. The approach of the book seems to be one of accuracy, explaining, for instance, that mosquitoes don't think about whom to bite, they merely respond to the information their senses gather. Some information about mosquitoes around the world, and how the micrographs were created, is included. This would be a wonderfully interesting book to have available as a reference, or to read aloud to small groups learning about insects.
School Library Journal - December 1, 2005Black-and-white photographs of an evening game of hide-and-seek are interspersed with stunning color-enhanced microphotographs that record the life cycle of another "seeker": a female Culex pipiens mosquito looking for a meal. Siy's clear, readable text describes the boy's strategies in avoiding his human "seeker" and the parallel search of Culex in the growing dusk. Kunkel's exceptional SEM photos provide unbelievable glimpses of red blood cells crammed in a tiny capillary, the feathery "scales" on a mosquito's wings, and the complex cutting mechanism of its proboscis. A section with further information on mosquitoes and the global health problems they pose, another on microphotography, and a list of further resources are appended. [T]his title is fascinating for its photography and the informative text and captions. It deserves a place in most collections.
School Library Journal: Focus On Insects - May 1, 2011Readers view summer from a mosquito's perspective. Children playing outdoors represent a vital food source the female needs to nourish her eggs. Numerous images taken with a scanning electron microscope are colored to highlight details and trace the insect from egg to adult.