Children (and adults, too) have become aware of the ecological importance of bees. Wasps are ecologically important, too. They pollinate plants and provide pest control by eating insects and feeding them to their young.
Paper wasps construct open-celled paper nests. A mated female wasp -- the queen -- starts the nest by chewing wood fibers into a pulp to build paper layers. As soon as she has built enough of the nest, she lays some eggs which grow into young female wasps. They lay more eggs, mostly males, and these become workers whose job is to build the nest for the growing colony. It can end up being quite large. Come winter, the old queen and the workers die and the young females hibernate. In spring, they will be new queens that will build their own nest for a new wasp colony.
This elegantly illustrated book explains stage by stage in easy text how a wasp nest is built. It follows by days and weeks and shows how the queen's industrious workers create a sturdy, weatherproof home. Readers see the inside of the growing nest where the eggs turn into larvae and emerge 20 days later as juveniles. As the nest gets bigger and the story progresses, the book's pages become bigger too. Cross sections show the amazing construction of the nest and how the wasps live and work.
The interior pages in A Wasp Builds a Nest are shingled, starting as a partial page and getting larger as the story progresses.
Kate Scarborough is an author and illustrator of books for children and young adults. Previous titles include Spider's Nest, Extreme Sports and Coral Reef.
Martin Camm is an illustrator specializing in animal life. He has contributed to hundreds of books, and his work is widely published by many organizations, including the United Nations, Greenpeace and The Wildlife Trusts.