Flowers are Calling
by Rita Gray; illus. by Kenard Pak
32 pages; ages 3-8
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015
Theme: nature, nonfiction, ecology
Flowers are calling a little black bear.The flowers call a bumblebee, a hummingbird. Each creature, it turns out, answers to a different flower. For the bee it's Monkshood. For the butterfly, Queen Anne's Lace. The hummingbird uses his long tongue to sip nectar from long tubular flowers.
No, not a bear! He doesn't care.
They're calling a butterfly to dip from the air.
What I like: Rita Gray introduces us to three nectar-sipping, pollen-collecting critters and then, over the spread of two pages, introduces us to the plants they pollinate. And there's a diversity: insect, mammal, bird... daytime feeders, night feeders. And the illustrations are very nice.
What I really like: After introducing us to a dozen flower/animal pairs, she challenges us to look at flowers: their shape, color, pattern, how they smell, and when they open. Then she addresses how plants make sure they connect with their special pollinators. Some plants give off heat to tempt an insect into staying there on a chilly night. Other flowers have ultraviolet designs that are visible only to certain pollinators. The designs help guide the pollinators to nectar. Oh, and did I mention the illustrations?
Beyond the Book: Check out flower shapes. Butterflies like to land on flowers that provide a platform, like Queen Anne's Lace. Can you find other plants like that in your neighborhood? What about long, tubular flowers?
Flower Time: Spend a couple days watching flowers open and close. Our hawkweed opens when the sun is up and closes in the evening. Do you have any flowers that open and close with the sun? Could you plant a flower clock?
Who visits yellow flowers? What insects or birds visit yellow flowers in your area? What about red flowers? Blue flowers? White flowers?
Today's review is part of the STEM Friday roundup. Drop by STEM Friday blog for more science books and resources. We're also joining PPBF (perfect picture book Friday), an event in which bloggers share great picture books at Susanna Leonard Hill's site. She keeps an ever-growing list of Perfect Picture Books. Review copy from the publisher.
What a beautiful cover. I can only imagine the illustrations. As I read your comments, I couldn't help but think about how all life is connected and communicating in some manner -- like a plant giving off heat to attract an insect at night. This book is a gem!ReplyDelete
you're right ... everything is connected. And that thing about plants giving off heat - how cool is that!Delete
I would love to read this book! Besides how wonderful the illustrations sound the cover is a wonderful invitation. Science is so interesting and this book seems like the perfect introduction to the plant world.ReplyDelete
Thanks for introducing it to us.
I could spend hours watching insects pollinate my garden. Super choice.ReplyDelete
I do spend hours watching pollinators - and count the bees for the Great Sunflower Project. here's how you can get involved ~ http://www.greatsunflower.org/Delete
What a wonderful book to read as spring is slow to arrive--I need a reminder that flowers are coming!ReplyDelete
I feel like I'm rushing it ~ my garden is still buried under six inches of snow!Delete
Beautiful cover! Would have liked to have had this book when I was trying to teach plant identification to former garden club members. Lovely!ReplyDelete
Isn't the artwork just gorgeous! It might inspire kids and gardeners to take a sketch pad and pencils out to the garden.Delete
What a wonderful concept. I am definitely going to check this book out. It sounds perfectly charming.ReplyDelete
You will LOVE it, Rosi!Delete