Author(s): Densey Cline
My Encounters with Minibeasts is a collection of stories about insects and spiders by naturalist Densey Clyne, who is internationally known for her writing, photography and nature documentaries. The 35 chapters comprise personal recollections of her adventures in the world of invertebrates, recounting stories from spider tricks and traps to magical moths and ridiculously hairy caterpillars. Self-styled 'Champion of the Underbug' Densey presents her subjects not in the way that they are generally seen - as ugly and dangerous - but as intriguing, often beautiful, sometimes bizarre and infinitely diverse. While insisting on scientific accuracy, Densey uses a lighthearted style, writing with knowledge, enthusiasm and, dare it be said, love. Many stories are based close to home in Australia, while others relate to the author's travels overseas with cameraman Jim Frazier, filming for Sir David Attenborough's documentaries, including in the USA, Borneo and Papua New Guinea. The introductory piece in the book extols the 'delight in insects' felt by the author, referring to a passage from Alice Through the Looking Glass in which Alice says that she doesn't rejoice in insects at all. But Densey sees insects differently and this book tells us why. We are introduced through close-up images to bugs including grasshoppers, ants, wasps, butterflies, moths, mantises and spiders. Covering a wide range of invertebrate behaviour, including a few unlocked secrets, this book will appeal to readers of all ages with an interest in the natural world.