Sunday, February 26, 2012

Picture Book: Not a Buzz to Be Found: Insects in Winter (by Linda Glaswer):

The secret winter lives of insects are exposed in Not a Buzz to Be Found:  Insects in Winter.  Author Linda Glaswer writes in a gentle poetic language that reveals the mysteries surrounding the whereabouts of insects like woolly bear caterpillars, honeybees, ants, black swallowtail butterflies, ladybugs, and others.  The concise, straightforward text is ideal for young readers.  It provides essential information while engaging them in the language.  Here is an excerpt:   

If you were a gall fly in winter,
You’d still be a baby living in a gall.
You’d chew a little opening to get out in spring. 
But all winter you’d stay in that small round ball. 

The illustrations (by Jaime Zollars) wonderfully parallel the text while also depicting the seasonal activities of children, connecting the lives of people with those of insects/nature.  As the children play amongst the fall foliage, wooly bear caterpillars are close by curled up sleeping under a blanket of leaves or as a boy and girl have a snowball fight, the field cricket are safely under the Earth—waiting for spring.  The pictures capture well the colors and textures of the seasons. 

The book ends with the arrival of spring and reemergence of the insects:

Then slowly, slowly the air grows warmer.
And just as slowly the days grow longer.
You feel a change in the air
and so do insects everywhere.

Some wake up.  Some hatch.
Some fly north.  Some grow wings.
It’s time to zip and buzz and fly.
Winter is over.  At last, it’s spring. 

I recommend Not a Buzz to Be Found:  Insects in Winter for readers ages 4-10.  

Teaching Opportunities:
  • Unit Study:  Include as part of a unit study on insects or seasons
  • Comparison/Contrast:   Compare and contrast one to one (ants to ladybugs) or groups; ask questions such as:  Which ones hibernate underground?  Which ones emerge as babies?  Which as adult?  Which ones sleep under leaves or parts of trees?  Which ones migrate?
  • Writing:  Write a journal entry from the perspective of one of the insects or one of the children discovering some hibernating
  • Research & Writing:  Research an insect not included to learn how it survives the winter; then write a poetic stanza like the ones in the book (try to have at least two lines rhyme)
  • Language:  Identify rhymes—true and slant—and onomatopoeia
This post is linked up with Science Sunday at Adventures in Mommydom.  Click HERE for more great posts on science activities.  


  1. Great ideas for extending the book! The front cover illustration is beautiful.

  2. Thanks. I agree, the illustrations are gorgeous!

  3. That book looks gorgeous! I've pinned it for our next time through on Flying Creatures.


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