Bugs of Ontario by John Acorn, 2002, Lone Pine Publishing,
Edmonton AB, Canada. 2003
- Editor's note: Chris Ackerman of Lone Pine Publishing wrote to
ask if we would like a review copy of this book, so, of course I
said yes. We offer two reviews for you below.
- Review by *Christina Davis with input by Jason Davis and
Sheldon Davis Sr.
My first impression of Bugs of Ontario with
the big, green, scary-looking bug on the cover was that it was a
children's book. I flipped through it and noted the colourful keys
at the tops of the pages and the bright illustrations that take up
almost half of each page. I was still pretty sure that this book
couldn't contain much more than pictures that would keep kids
occupied for an hour or so. I picked up the book and started to
read the introduction. The opening line, "This book is for
bugsters" was all it took to get me hooked into reading more.
- John Acorn uses a conversational and fun tone to cover all the
basics that any good nature guide would cover. The language is not
so difficult as to confuse a child but complete enough to also
interest an adult. I found that in about half an hour, I had
learned quite a few new and interesting facts. The "bugs" in this
book are broken down into groups with a key at the front and
coordinating colours at the tops of the pages which makes it quick
and easy to find what you are looking for. The illustrations are
very good although the scale is hard to determine since they have
all been drawn the same size. The conversational tone that was
used in the introduction is also used in the descriptions which at
times was a bit frustrating and the focus seemed to be on
something interesting about each with the only real facts
mentioned consistently being the length or wingspan and the
Overall, I would recommend Bugs of Ontario to anyone who
is interested in getting to know the creepy-crawlies around us a
bit better. As an introductory book, it will allow the reader to
learn the names of what we see around us and lots of interesting
facts about "the 125 coolest bugs of Ontario". Now, if you'll
excuse me, I have some rocks to turn over and some observing to
- *Christina is a GIS specialist in the mapping section of the
- Review by *Carey Purdon with input from Gwen Purdon.
My wife and I have been asked to review "The Bugs of
Ontario" by John Acorn and Ian Sheldon, IBSN 1-55105-287-3,
published by Lone Pine Publishing, 2003.
This is a 5.5x8.5 inch, 160 page, soft-cover book. The
book begins with a color coded grouping of the "bugs" including
butterflies, moths, beetles, wasps ants and bees & sawflies,
two-winged flies, lacewings, sucking bugs, grigs, damselflies and
dragonflies, aquatic larva, adults, and non-insect arthropods.
This is followed by a picture grouping (thumbnails, ed) of the
species included in the book (125) which is great for quick
reference. The book continues with an introduction to the basics
of insect watching then outlines how the authors decided on the
125 species or groups of "bugs" to include in the book from the
approximately 30,000 species of "bugs" in Ontario.
The main portion of the book is an account of the 125
bugs, one to a page, each starting with a great painting of that
species or representative of the group, then a non-scientific,
descriptive, humorous, practical, anecdotal account of that "bug"
from the authors' perspective.
A photograph of John and his son, lying crossways on a
boardwalk, unhurriedly, but intently searching the aquatic
treasures below, together, sharing, yet each lost in their own
adventure, that seems to address the audience, the goals and, for
me personally, the take home message of this book. This is a book
for the parent or the child (great stocking stuffer!!) A book that
encourages an "experience" with the insect and the world it lives
in, an experience that is felt with the heart and the head, an
experience that is to be shared personally and with others, an
experience that is treasured and remembered.
There is an instant connection to the authors visually and
emotionally as the authors' accounts awaken the child (or
childhood memories) in all of us, a connection that permissively
enables us to stop, to listen, to look and to inquire. It
encouraged me to go beyond my comfort zone, a lesson transmitted
to my other walks in life.
I would not recommend this as a reference field guide, but
for the beginner it would be great to have in the car, at the
beach, a picnic or a backyard nature walk. This is a book we
wished we had available when our children were growing up. I would
recommend this book to people of all ages, to all with a little
bit of a "busgster" in them. Enjoy the adventure.
*Carey is an
MD with an office in