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Saturday, June 29, 2013

Caterpillars, written by Chris Earley, with Skye Earley. Firefly Books, 2013. $6.95 ages 6 and up

"There are a lot of interesting things to see when you are watching caterpillars. Some of them tickle when they crawl on your skin. You can't really see their mouths open and close very well because their jaws are underneath their giant heads. But you can watch them eat leaves..."

In the same format as Dragonflies, Chris Earley helps young scientists make some very interesting observations on their own about caterpillars. A table of contents helps them find the section they are most interested in. They are encouraged to find, to identify, and to even try raising caterpillars at home.

Observation is a tremendously important skill for the young to have, whether it is about nature, people, or the world they live in. In this book, once again using clear bright photographs and useful captioning, the author helps us make discoveries about what kind of butterfly or moth will result from a caterpillar we find. They are named, the life cycle of both a butterfly and a moth are clearly described, and then finding, caring for and feeding a captured creature continues the reading.

We can help caterpillars in the same way that we help learning as much as we can about them, by observing the rules for raising them, and by knowing the law. Once again the author provides a clearly detailed and photographed brief field guide to help readers find and observe the variety occurring in the natural world:

"Luna Moth

This is another big, fat, green caterpillar. The adult is green, too, and has long tails and a fuzzy white body. We find the caterpillars crossing roads in late summer, when they are out looking for a place to make their cocoons.
Food plants: many different tree leaves such as birch, hickory and walnut."

A book list and index are also provided.

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