Britta Teckentrup is an award winning illustrator, author and fine artist. She was born in Hamburg, growing up in a town called Wuppertal. She moved to London in 1988 to study illustration and fine art at St Martin's College and the Royal College of Art. Britta is the author and illustrator of many well-loved books for children, including the bestselling Big Smelly Bear, The Odd One Out and Grumpy Cat, which was selected by the Booktrust's Bookstart scheme - 250,000 copies to be distributed to families throughout the UK. Britta has written and illustrated over 70 children's books which have been published in over 20 different countries. Her fine art work has been frequently exhibited at her London gallery and at art fairs all over the world. After 17 years in the UK - Britta now lives and works in Berlin with her scottish husband, son Vincent and their old cat Oskar.
I'll preface this review with a warning: I'm quite squeamish and find insects with long, hairy legs terrifying. When I was little, I had a nightmare about woodlice taking over the world and shoving me in a tumble dryer. So I don't usually 'do' bug books. However, I adore Britta Teckentrup's illustrations and I decided to be brave and look inside this lovely book. I must say that her colourful, sensitive drawings make learning about insects more palatable than the photographic versions available to children and adults. I can see the character and possibly beauty of a Japanese boxer mantis, whereas when I was at school, and my friend brought some preying mantises(?) in to show us all, I had to hide in the corridor. The book tells you what constitutes a bug (it must belong to the arthropods group and have six or more legs as well as an exoskeleton); how they see and breathe; how long they've been around (some have existed for over 500 million years in the ocean) and how many of them are the ultimate hunters. As well as providing facts, the book invites the reader to make their own guestimates about things such as which is the strongest, longest, noisiest and fastest. This is a bug book that I can stomach, though I still remain wary around these amazing but sometimes stomach-churning creatures. * Childtastic Books *