Becoming Butterflies

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Overview

Let the scientist in every child take wing.

One day Miss Dana brings a surprise to school—three striped caterpillars and a flowerpot full of milkweed. Her students can’t believe that these tiny, wriggling creatures less than an inch long will grow into butterflies, fragile beauties strong enough to fly thousands of miles to their winter home in Mexico.

And so begins a magical month of metamorphosis. The children observe and draw the changes ...

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Overview

Let the scientist in every child take wing.

One day Miss Dana brings a surprise to school—three striped caterpillars and a flowerpot full of milkweed. Her students can’t believe that these tiny, wriggling creatures less than an inch long will grow into butterflies, fragile beauties strong enough to fly thousands of miles to their winter home in Mexico.

And so begins a magical month of metamorphosis. The children observe and draw the changes they see as the caterpillars transform themselves right before their eyes. When the newly formed butterflies break free of their chrysalises, it is time for the class to let them go find their place in the world.

This captivating concept book simply and eloquently invites young children to witness and celebrate the cycle of life.

A class observes the various stages caterpillars go through to become butterflies.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The team behind One Bean and Pumpkin Day, Pumpkin Night join up for a lesson on metamorphosis in Becoming Butterflies by Anne Rockwell, illus. by Megan Halsey. Cut-paper collage creates a three-dimensional effect in Miss Dana's classroom; the students' pictures record the chrysalis stage and the butterflies' emergence. Front endpapers label different caterpillars, while the back endpapers picture the butterflies they become, labeled with common and scientific names. (Mar.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
Miss Dana brings three striped caterpillars and a milkweed plant to school. Her students watch in fascination as the metamorphosis from caterpillar to butterfly takes place. Rockwell has created another captivating concept book that will delight children as they follow Miss Dana's caterpillars through the cycle of life. The detailed watercolor paintings perfectly illustrate a Monarch from caterpillar to chrysalis to butterfly. The front flyleaf illustrates a variety of caterpillars, and the back flyleaf illustrates the butterflies they become. Children can have fun matching the caterpillar with the butterfly. Teachers of young children will be thrilled to add this simple, yet factual, explanation of the life cycle to their classroom library. 2002, Walker Publishing,
— Cheryl Peterson
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-Every preschool or primary teacher who orders a brown box of live caterpillars will want to read this book aloud. When his teacher brings three monarch caterpillars and a milkweed plant to class, the young narrator follows their transformation with the same questions and concerns of young students in any classroom. His multicultural classmates track the changes in the caterpillars through drawings, and sadly wave good-bye through the window as the butterflies fly away. Without an unnecessary word of explanation, the text makes clear the science of metamorphosis, and leavens the story with the humor of the children's comments. The illustrations are watercolors with pieces of cut paper layered to give depth. They are childlike without being primitive and give fine support for the scientific observation. An endnote offers more details for adults and a Web site, and clever endpapers show the caterpillars of others species at the front of the book and their butterflies at the back. Amid the many books on the topic, this one is a standout for the age group.-Ellen Heath, Orchard School, Ridgewood, NJ Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The creators of One Bear (1998) and Pumpkin Day, Pumpkin Night (1999) turn in another polished take on a perennial classroom science topic. After their teacher brings in a potted milkweed and a mail-order kit, a group of children watch three caterpillars eat, grow, form chrysalises, and emerge as monarch butterflies. Halsey's pictures, all neat lines and cheery faces, are constructed by layering cutout paper figures, for a low-relief effect that adds visual interest without compromising each scene's simplicity. After the butterflies are released, the children write to a class in Mexico, and get a letter, with a photo of a butterfly-covered twig, in return. Rockwell expands on the teacher's matter-of-fact explanations of what's going on at each stage with a helpful note, and Halsey depicts ten other named, common butterflies, both in mature and caterpillar form, on the endpapers. Though not detailed enough to be an instruction manual, this is good to go for general background reading, nutritious fodder for newly hatched lepidopterists, or as a storytime prelude to Sam Swope's infectious Gotta Go! Gotta Go! (2000). (Picture book nonfiction. 5-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802787972
  • Publisher: Walker & Company
  • Publication date: 3/1/2002
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.32 (w) x 9.24 (h) x 0.37 (d)

Meet the Author

Anne Rockwell is an acclaimed creator of innumerable children’s books. She lives in Greenwich, Connecticut.

Megan Halsey's charming illustrations can also be found in Four Seasons Make a Year; Two Blue Jays; Becoming Butterflies; Pumpkin Day, Pumpkin Night; and One Bean. She lives in Lansdowne, Pennsylvania.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 10, 2002

    CLASS PROJECT TAKES FLIGHT

    Step by step, this concept picture book for young elementary students takes readers through a popular class project: raising butterflies. It begins when the class teacher brings a surprise to school: three caterpillars, and insect house and a milkweed plant. Together they prepare the tiny caterpillar's new home, feed it, and watch it grow. Each double-page spread is a virtual how-to guide enabling readers to duplicate the activity at home -- next to each story illustration is a drawing of the elements needed to accomplish what's pictured, or study the results up-close.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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