Sunday, May 8, 2011

Picture Books (Science): Ladybugs

Reading books is essential and amazing, but watching nature unfold first-hand is priceless!  One of my favorite experiences with my children is using the live bug kits.   Whether you home school or not, I urge you to try one or more of these out with your family.  It is a great summer activity.  We have used the ladybug and the butterfly kits.  My favorite is the ladybug one, though, because there were more significant changes to observe (and record, if you wish).  Also, most children are not as familiar with the ladybug’s life cycle as they are with the butterfly’s.  If you are only going to do one, go for the ladybug kit. 

There are numerous non-fiction books on the ladybugs. There are four though that stand out as exceptional. 

Ladybugs (ages 3-6) by Monica Hughes 
Ladybugs is a beautiful introduction to this beloved beetle. The straightforward text reveals basic facts about the insect’s habitat, body parts, life cycle, and eating habits.  One of the highlights is the step by step easy description and photographs of the ladybug's transformation from egg to adult. The vibrant photographs wonderfully depict the insect in motion—flying, laying eggs, hatching, eating aphids, and fighting off predators.  Ladybugs is ideal for preschool listeners or early readers.

Ladybug (Watch It Grow)Watch It Grow: Ladybug (ages 6-10) by Barrie Watts  
For children ready for more in-depth information, Barry Watts’ Ladybug book is perfect.  It jumps right into the life cycle revealing the facts in a natural, narrative style that is engaging.   As the life cycle unfolds (beginning with eggs on a leaf), a detailed description of the ladybug's feeding habits, physical changes, and daily life is provided.  The book ends with adult ladybugs mating and perpetuating the process.  The vivid photographs show each stage and activity up-close and in detail.  The Watch It Grow series is an exceptional resource for many science topics. 

Face-to-Face with the Ladybug (Face-to-Face)Face to Face with The Ladybug (ages 7 and up) by Valerie Tracqui  
Using the seasonal framework, it begins in spring and ends in winter to describe the life cycle and activities of ladybugs.  The pages are teeming with bright photographs which makes this the best pick for the visual learner!   Each incredible photograph includes a description or additional factual details.  Short paragraphs describe various attributes and aspects, such as identification, flight, war with ants, birth, dinnertime, miracle of metamorphosis, and much more.  Readers come face to face with every aspect of a ladybug's life in this amazing picture book. 

Bright BeetleBright Beetle (ages 5-9) by Rick Chrustowski 
Bright Beetle is unique from the previous three books for a couple reasons.  First, the illustrations are watercolor paintings instead of photographs.  The bold pictures use rich colors and nice detail. They work well with the text, a second difference.  The non-fiction life of a ladybug is depicted through a fictional "bright beetle."  Reader watch as she hatches from her egg, eats dozens of aphids, fights off ants with her bristly back, metamorphoses into a beetle, scares off other insects with her brilliant red coloring, oozes a bitter fluid to scare another predator, takes her first flight, and much more.   

Check out some inspiring science related posts HERE.  View Science Sunday each week at Adventures in Mommydom.  

For fictional stories and activities/lesson plans about ladybugs, click HERE.

1 comment:

  1. I'm tempted to buy some ladybugs to eat the nasty bugs in my garden!!


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