Book Review – Budding Biologist, Am I an Insect?

This book is the first in a planned series of children’s books intended to promote accurate science. This short, well-illustrated, simply-written book is appropriate for pre-school and grammar school children.

The book is written by Kristine Callis-Duehl and illustrated by Katy Castronovo, both young mothers. The book was produced because Kristine found many misconceptions about science in existing children’s books, such as classifying spiders as insects. Kristine is a PhD candidate at the University of Florida in the Department of Biology who has published in the academic literature for both her research in plant-insect interactions and for science education. Katy has a BFA in Painting and Drawing from Ohio State University.

The format of the book is simple: one page shows an illustration and asks a question. The following page shows another illustration and answers the question and usually provides some additional information. Besides teaching science to children, the book could be used to teach them to read and to think analytically. You could use the book as part of practical projects such as examining insects outdoors. This is a very interesting concept that will engage children.

For more information, go to the author’s website: where you can watch a short video to see the authors explain the book’s concept and get free lesson plans.

The planned second book in the Budding Biologist series,”Where Do I Live?” is about animals’ adaptations to their environment.

You can purchase the book from the author’s website and it is also available at Amazon.