I remember catching fireflies in the backyard on warm summer nights with my brother Tim and the neighborhood kids. We would punch holes in jar lids and keep the fireflies as nightlights in our bedrooms and we always let them go the next morning. I remember catching Daddy Longlegs with my cousins at the cottage in Michigan. They seemed to be everywhere—the spiders, not my cousins! And I remember being fascinated by fuzzy caterpillars as I watched them inch their way across the ground.

As I have learned more about certain bugs and insects over the years, I have grown to appreciate them even more. Bees pollinate our world, dung beetles do the dirty work of cleaning up our world, and most importantly, spiders keep our world free of centipedes. Ever since the day I pulled back the bedsheets and discovered a centipede, well, let’s just say that along with his other stellar qualities, the main reason I married my husband is because of his ability to rescue his damsel in distress. So, if a spider can do the same, then the world is a better place because of them.

If you and your kids want to learn more about bugs and insects, come to the library on Friday May 7th for the Welty’s Wild Ones program for kids ages 3 to 6. Staff from the Welty Environmental Center will read stories and do hands-on projects related to the nature around us. This program is sponsored by Alliant Energy Foundation. Please visit www.beloitlibrary.org to register and to learn about other programs for kids of all ages.

In the meantime, be sure to check out these books available at your Beloit Public Library.

Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri. Nuri is a beekeeper and Afra, his wife, is an artist. Mornings, Nuri rises early to hear the call to prayer before driving to his hives in the countryside. On weekends, Afra sells her colorful landscape paintings at the open-air market. They live a simple life, rich in family and friends, in the hills of the beautiful Syrian city of Aleppo—until the unthinkable happens. (Book Description)

Bug Boys: Outside and Beyond by Laura Knetzger. Little bugs, big feelings! Rhino-B and Stag-B are back for more in this all-new graphic novel perfect for readers of Investigators and Catstronauts. These best friends are ready for new adventures! Meeting a bat? They’re on it! Getting lost in a labyrinth? Might be scary. Each day is new and exciting for these two beetles, and together they’ll face challenges and help their friends along the way. (Graphic Novel Book Description)

The Language of Butterflies: How Thieves, Hoarders, Scientists, and Other Obsessives Unlocked the Secrets of the World’s Favorite Insect by Wendy Williams. Butterflies are one of the world’s most beloved insects. From butterfly gardens to zoo exhibitions, they are one of the few insects we’ve encouraged to infiltrate our lives. Yet, what has drawn us to these creatures in the first place? And what are their lives really like? …bestselling author and science journalist Wendy Williams reveals the inner lives of these “flying flowers”... (Book Description)

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