Sunday, April 29, 2012
Picture Book (Science): Luna Moths (Sandra Markle)
The book begins with a basic explanation of how insects are different from other animals. Then, Markle identifies differences between moths and butterflies. A detailed exploration of the luna moth’s body, inside and out, is depicted with broad two-page labeled diagrams. Each one has additional information about it in text boxes. The largest part of the book is focused on a chronological study of the moth by looking at its life cycle. The stages are described and illustrated well. An added feature is that Markle highlights the ways that other moths—in the larva and adult stages in particular—defend themselves. The layout of Luna Moths: Masters of Change is reader friendly. The sections are clearly labeled with bold titles in bright orange headline boxes. The text is primarily on the left with a full-page, close-up photograph of moths in various stages and activities on the right. Other pages have the text on top with bold pictures below corresponding to it. The vibrant and organized layout patterns are pleasing to the eyes. The book concludes with information on other insect life cycles, a glossary of important terms, luna moth extension activities, and suggestions for book, video, and web resources.
My two favorite parts of this book are the diagrams of the body—internal and external—and the information on the various ways moths defend themselves. On the external diagram, the basic parts are identified and described—head, thorax, abdomen, wings—as well as others like spiracles (breathing holes), compound eyes, body texture/scales, antenna, legs, and feet. The internal figure lays out fascinating information about reproductive organs, heart, brain, and nerve cord. I did not even realize they had all these parts in that tiny, tiny body. The sections on protection from predators are fantastic. They includes pictures of moths to fit each description, adding to its merit. For instance, some caterpillars use their looks like the hag moth caterpillar that looks like a hairy spider and the elephant hawk moth one that appears as a snake ready to attack! Others camouflage well or use poisonous secretions. I cannot help but to be in absolute wonderment at our Creator whenever I study science. There is so much variety, intricacy, and creativity. My kids get tired of me saying these words. J
I have read many children’s book on insects, butterflies, and moths, yet I learned a lot from Luna Moths: Masters of Change. It is more detailed than many similar children's science books, but the straightforward text is highly engaging. In addition, the eye-catching and brilliant photographs depict a variety of views and stages. This book is part of the Insect World series from Lerner Publishing Group. Because I am so impressed with this one, I plan on looking up additional titles in the series. I recommend this book for ages 8 and up.