Sunday, July 29, 2012

Picture Books (Science): Life Cycles

At my local library, there is an exciting new science series exploring the life cycles of plant and animals (both vertebrates and non-vertebrates).  They are written by L.L. Owens and published by The Child’s World.  Of course, the series covers the most commonly researched life cycles like butterflies and frogs, but they also delve into others like a fern, a clown fish, and a chicken.  I checked out The Life Cycle of an Earthworm and The Life Cycle of a Snail

Each book begins with a general overview defining a life cycle.  Then, it delves into background information about the subject.  There are so many fascinating facts about snails in the book, such as how they move, sense, and eat.  Even though children will likely be more familiar with earthworms, there is still much to learn.  For instance, they use their skin to detect light and to breath air.  Next, their origins, early lives, and adulthood are described, which includes their habits and predators.  Finally, the reproductive process is explained.  Interestingly, snails and earthworms have both parts necessary to reproduce.   Each book is rounded out with a colorful 2-page summary of the life cycle. 

As an adult, I found myself expanding my own schema of knowledge, but the information is written in a manner that youngster will understand.  The text is well-written and appealing.   One of the highlights is the large, vibrant photographs of their stages and behaviors.  Many are rare action shots like a mole eating a worm or a snail laying eggs. 

I recommend this Life Cycle series for ages 7 and up.  In addition to the earthworm and snail, the following living things are covered: butterfly, chicken, clown fish, daisy, fern, frog, human, ladybug, polar bear, and snake. These books are a wonderful supplement or extension of a science curriculum.  Many families will, also, find them to be educational leisure reading.  

This post is linked up with Science Sunday at Adventures of Mommydom.  


  1. That picture of the mole is amazing (and slightly freaky). Thanks for linking up to Science Sunday!

  2. What beautiful books! I have added this series to hunt down and request at my local library. I am hopping over from Science Sunday!


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