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It's that time to reflect on the past year by choosing some of our favorite insect photographs.

Seems like most of our favorite photos told a story. For example, the bee visiting a flower was in danger. Can you see why?

That brown bit in the upper right side is a jumping spider looking for prey. The bee did manage to get away.

Another fun story was a friend sharing some silkworm larvae.

We watched them grow,

spin cocoons,

and emerge as adult moths. The experience inspired another story in the form of a children's book. We'll see what happens to that in 2018.

We loved watching these wood ants tend to their herd of aster hoppers. (See more at Wild About Ants).

Let's not forget this Asian multicolored lady beetle, which reminds us lady beetles eat pollen as well as aphids.

We followed a grasshopper in a sunflower.

Then we discovered an adult queen butterfly next to a monarch butterfly caterpillar.

We wish to thank all our friends and family who took these journeys with us and helped make the stories happen. You're the best!

For STEM Friday this week we have a new picture book about ants, Just Like Us! Ants by Bridget Heos and illustrated by David Clark.

Although the cartoon illustrations may make it look like this isn't a serious book, don't be fooled. It covers all the facts and concepts you would expect in a nonfiction book in a way that will attract the most reluctant of readers. To make it even more enjoyable the author compares what ants can do to what humans do, putting ants in perspective.

Just Like Us! Ants is not simply a rehash of previous children's books about ants, either. The author reveals recent scientific discoveries, such as how bigheaded ant larvae process food for the colony or how fire ants build rafts to float on water.

Check out this video from BBC that shows fire ant rafts and some of the dangers they encounter while in the water.

(By the way, the winged ant they discuss once the colony makes landfall is not actually the colony's queen. She is a sister ant that will fly off to start her own colony in the near future. Some ant biologists call the female winged ants "princesses.")

Back to the book, it you are looking for a fun and informative introduction to the world of ants, then Just Like Us! Ants is for you.

Ant-Themed Hands-On Activities:

Want to learn more about ants? Check out our growing list of ant books for kids.

Age Range: 4 - 7 years
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (October 3, 2017)
ISBN-10: 054457043X
ISBN-13: 978-0544570436

Another review at Wild About Ants

Disclosure: This book was provided by our local library. Also, I am an affiliate with Amazon so I can provide you with cover images and links to more information about books and products. As you probably are aware, if you click through the highlighted title link and purchase a product, I will receive a very small commission, at no extra cost to you. Any proceeds help defray the costs of hosting and maintaining this website.

Come visit the STEM Friday blog each week to find more great Science, Technology, Engineering and Math books.