Friday, April 10, 2020

You're Invited to a Moth Ball!

You're Invited to a Moth Ball: A Nighttime Insect Celebration 
by Loree Burns; illus by Ellen Harasimowicz
40 pages; ages 5 - 8
Charlesbridge, 2020

theme: insects, STEAM, summer

You don’t know what a moth ball is? Please come anyway! You can learn as we go.

A moth ball, it turns out, isn’t a dance with tuxedos and long gowns. It’s a night-time party that celebrates moths! And this newest book by Loree Burns shows how you can get involved. You don’t need much: a light source, some moth food, and about a ton of curiosity. Ellen Harasimowicz provides wonderful photos of kids searching for moths and a moth-collecting station.

What I like about this book: It’s about bugs! I love the title page, designed as an invitation with an RSVP at the bottom. I love the playful approach: we’re going to have a ball! And I like the back matter where you can find out more about moths, how to set up your very own moth ball, and a recipe for moth bait. Loree includes an author’s note about raising moth eggs, and Ellen shares some notes about photographing moths.

Loree graciously answered One Question by email earlier this week:

Archimedes: Of all the moths you've met during your evening "Moth Balls", do you have any favorites? And what is it about them that you find so fascinating?

Loree: It's truly hard to pick a favorite moth, partly because there are so many fascinating and unexpected species and partly because I've only seen a tiny subset of the ones I know are out there. I am sure I'll have a different answer to this question at the end of the summer moth-watching season.

rosy maple moth ~ cute, fuzzy guy!
That said, I have a special affection for the rosy maple moth. It's the moth that first surprised me, because I stumbled on one during the day (it was resting on a daisy stem, and I happened to be in the garden cutting daisies) and because it is gorgeous. I've heard people call them cotton candy moths, and I think it's an appropriate moniker for a creature so yellow and pink! The other appealing characteristic of the rosy maple moth is that they're super common. Now that I routinely have lights on in my yard at night, I see them all the time. So it's a moth beginners can expect to see, too.

Beyond the Books:

Check out the differences between moths and butterflies at this page hosted by the Australian Museum.

Young moth-watchers can collect important data to help scientists understand more about moths. Here’s one study done by Grant, and here’s how you can get involved as a citizen scientist during National Moth Week.

Go mothing! Here’s tips to get you started from Science Friday.

Loree is a member of #STEAMTeam2020. You can find out more about her at her website.

Today we're joining Perfect Picture Book Friday, an event where bloggers share great picture books at Susanna Leonard Hill's website. Review copy  provided by the publisher.

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