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Children's LiteratureThis "First-hand Science" book, originally published in England, starts with ladybugs and looks at butterflies, dragonflies, spiders and snails. As Ellie, the young heroine of the story, peers through her magnifying glass, each short adventure leads to a new discovery in the garden. At the end of four delightfully illustrated pages of information about each minibeast, a question is posed: "Why do snails have shells?" "Why do gardeners like ladybugs?" Young children will learn right along with Ellie that a snail's tongue is rough and that dragonflies' wings contain a network of veins. Suggested activities for children to try on their own include observing the silvery trail of a slug or snail, uncovering what is living in trees the easy way, and creating a minibeast-shaped diary. An index as well as a short list of useful words make this book well-suited for use in the classroom. Other titles in this series are Weather, Materials, Seashore, Plants and Flowers, and Water. 2005, Smart Apple Media, Ages 4 to 8.