44431585Genre: Children’s

Rating: 4.5/5

Thank you NetGalley, Jennifer Vitanzo, and Late Shift Media, LLC. for the opportunity to read Santiago: TRUE TALES of a LITTLE BUG in a BIG WORLD in exchange for an honest review.

One of the things I greatly appreciate about this book is the photographs of the praying mantis telling the story: Santiago. I want to say this book is both fiction and nonfiction. The way the book is portrayed from the praying mantis’s perspective is a fictional display (I mean, praying mantis’s cannot actually speak) but the story is based off of real events that the author and her partner experienced with this particular insect. I actually wanted to know more about the author and her photography and was directed by the publisher to where a number of photos and information are available!

Here’s a photo of Santiago about to have some dessert. Photo from BuzzFromTheBush Vitanzo’s other photojournal site (check it out for more pictures of Santiago and other photojournal experiences!)

Santiago is the book for me. Why? Praying Mantis’s are my absolute favorite insect! This book is fun with all the photos taken by Vitanzo as well as the fun facts about mantids. It’s an educational book told with a fictional approach, not to mention an extremely creative idea (I mean, how many books do you know with a praying mantis telling the story from his perspective?) The reader learns about a mantis’s classification, sex, diet, predators, and environment, as well as the different types that are out in the world.

Overall, a very cute book for all ages! This can be a great classroom book or summer read for anyone, but especially those curious about the insect world or mantis lovers! I learned so much about mantids, including some delicacies I can feed a mantis that aren’t other insects, life spans, and instinctual tendencies. I loved how Santiago really became a member of the family and I definitely cried when I finished this book!!

My favorite mantis story: One day I was at Disneyland with my boyfriend waiting in line for Big Thunder Mountain. This kid behind me says “Hey, miss? You have a bug on your back.” Of course my brain goes auto-spider and I flip out (even though a spider isn’t a bug/insect). When the poor victim of a praying mantis falls to the ground, I immediately scoop it up an apologize (not that it understands). Anyway, I took the praying mantis onto the ride with me and we had a blast! It was then released to a more secluded area with a tree that had very few people around it.

**A note to the publisher and Jennifer Vitanzo: If you would like me to remove photos or links, please contact me and let me know!!

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