Monday, April 20, 2009

Waiting for Wings, by Lois Ehlert - exploring the world of butterflies

Spring is here in California, and the children are playing outside. What better time to read a book exploring the world of butterflies. Young children, especially ages 4 to 6, love learning about the life cycle of butterflies, and this book is a beautiful introduction.
Waiting for Wings
by Lois Ehlert
San Diego: Harcourt, Inc., 2001.
ages 3 - 6
As you begin this book, you see a close-up of plants in a field. Eggs are hidden from view; then you turn the page and discover the tiny hidden gems. Turn the page again, and the caterpillars hatch, creeping and chewing the leaves. Ehlert is a wonderful artist and poet, bringing suspense to her young audience as they follow the caterpillars changing into chrysalis, and then emerging as butterflies.
"Caterpillar changes now begin --
body and wings take shape within.
When it's time, each case is torn --
wings unfold; new butterflies are born!"
The artwork is truly captivating, with color-rich pages that draw you into the small world of these creatures. My five-year old daughter especially loved the pictures and descriptions of the butterflies eating, sticking their long tongues into the flowers. We both spent a long time looking at the end section which details the different butterfly and flower species in the book. It's a wonderful blend of science, art and poetry - a perfect discovery for a spring day.

Find it at the Oakland Public Library or the Berkeley Public Library. It's also available from your local bookseller or Amazon.

Looking for more great nonfiction books for your kids? Check out Nonfiction Monday, over at Mommy's Favorite Children's Books.

This review was written by Mary Ann Scheuer for Great Kid Books. Copyright 2009, Great Kid Books.

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