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How much do you really know about wasps?

Wonderful Wasps written by Katrina Germein

Illustrations by Suzanne Houghton

CSIRO Publishing, 2022 ISBN: 978148631734 (ages 5 - 9 years)

Highly Recommended

Themes: Wasps, Insects, Animal Conservation, Food Webs, Animal Classification (taxonomy)

Well-known South Australian children’s author, Katrina Germein, has written her first information picture book in collaboration with illustrator Suzanne Houghton. Wonderful Wasps is a stunning read with ingenious rhyming text and striking illustrations and is all about a number of little-known wasps that exist in Australia.

From the detailed endpapers where eleven different wasps are displayed and labelled, to the double-page spread of facts and the glossary in the final pages, this delightful book will engage its young readers with interesting information and colourful illustrations.

The book begins by asking the question: What do you know about wasps? It then mentions ‘not the plain European wasp’ but ‘colourful, wonderful, weird Aussie wasps.’ The text then goes on to explain about Australian wasps, what they do, where they are found, what might happen if they are no longer around, as well as giving a snapshot of some of their characteristics including this one of the Orange spider wasp:

Spiders are food that many wasps need.

They paralyse spiders so larvae can feed.

A wasp lays an egg right onto a spider.

The baby wasp hatches and feeds from outside her!

(Think that sounds gross? It’s what parasites do,

and they need to eat, like me and you.)

When reading and sharing stories with young children the ability to connect them with the text is so important and this has been skilfully achieved with questions posed throughout. This entertaining new release is an outstanding book that will be enjoyed by all readers, both young and old.

Reviewed by Kathryn Beilby


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