themes: art, nature, insects
by Joyce Sidman
160 pages; ages 10-12
HMH for young readers, 2018
Maria Merian was born in the mid-1600s into a family of printers and engravers. As a girl, she watched her father and apprentices carve maps and illustrations onto copper plates which were inked and then pressed onto paper. She learned to mix pigments and make brushes. And she fell in love with insects - especially caterpillars.
In Miriam's time the silkworm was the only insect whose metamorphosis was well understood. But people still thought of it as "magical". So Maria began studying caterpillars, keeping them in boxes and jars, sketching and making notes as they developed. She also wanted to know more about the connection between caterpillars and their food plants. And she did all this at a time when women were not allowed to study science. Indeed, many were burned as witches for conducting similar kinds of studies.
by David L. Harrison; illus. by Julie Bayless
32 page; ages 5-9
Welcome hummers, tweeters, singers, diggers....
It doesn't matter whether you fly, leap, or crawl, this school welcomes you. There's just one Very Important Rule: don't eat your friends at school.
What I like about this book: Each poem focuses on a different bug, imagining how they would respond in various school situations. For example: aphids in math class. If mama has fifty babies and each babies have fifty babies, how many aphids do you get? There's camouflage class, stink bug class, and what's left of termite class. There are cricket lessons, report cards, and a serious moment when grasshoppers discover a recipe book...
It's fine to eat
the farmer's crop
but eating US
has got to stop!
Definitely more word play than entomology, but a fun way to invite bugs into your day.
Beyond the Books:
Go on a butterfly hunt - with a camera or your sketchbook. Try to catch photos of different kinds of butterflies and daytime moths. Sometimes nature centers host butterfly walks or moth nights for the public. Then use a guide book or online guide to find a picture of its larva. Using pencils, paint, or other media, create an illustration showing the caterpillar and butterfly, and Maria Merian might have done.
Check out cool photos of butterflies, moths, and caterpillars in field guides or online. Here's a link to photos of Lepidoptera and here's a caterpillar guide.
Write a buggy poem. During "poetry month", poet Amy Ludwig VanDerwater has been writing one poem each day using different poetry styles. Find one (or more) that you like and play around with words to share what you know about your favorite bug.
Cook up some grasshoppers? Here's how... or buy some online.
Today we're joining the STEM Friday roundup - and we're also joining others over at 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 copies provided by publishers.